Americans are know for a lot of things – some good, some bad, some true and some false. But no matter your take on some of the more serious stereotypes of this nation and its people, one thing we can mostly agree on is that we like a good reason to celebrate. If we didn’t, websites like www.checkiday.com wouldn’t exist and no one would be around to tell us that Monday is National Corndog Day. I know, right!? The horrors that you might have missed that!
You may call it over-commercialization, but I think all the hype surrounding holidays is fun. To me, nothing is more beautiful than a city street in December or fireworks on the 4th of July and it wouldn’t really be October 31st without little vampires and princesses running around everywhere. We like celebrations so much that we even celebrate other peoples’ festivities. Cinco de Mayo may be a holiday for our neighbors to the south, but we like to celebrate right along with them.
Obviously you see where I’m going with this. It’s March 17th and even my dog is sporting a green scarf today.
In 2008, a few weeks before my wedding (another story, another time) my sister and I were gallivanting around Granada, Nicaragua celebrating Semana Santa. That year, St. Patrick’s Day fell right in the midst of the Semana Santa celebrations. Hoping for a wee bit of Irish luck, we set out to find green beer but instead found a bar crowd with no particular affinity for green. My sister and I, like any good Americans, had donned our green apparel and were expecting others to get in on the festivities of El Día de San Patricio too.
Except we were in Nicaragua. And no one really got it. We tried harder, explaining about Leprechauns and pots of gold and the like. But it wasn’t that they hadn’t heard of the holiday, it was just that they didn’t understand why we were celebrating it with such enthusiasm.
“Oh!” They’d say, “Are you Irish?”
“Um… no. We’re from the States,” we responded.
They didn’t really get it. We pinched them anyway.
So there we were, two Americans celebrating an Irish holiday in Nicaragua. Maybe it makes no sense, but what can I say… we’re American and we like our holidays, stolen or otherwise!
I wish I had some witty or profound wrap-up for this post, but frankly, writing this is cutting into my green beer drinking time. Happy St. Paddy’s Everyone!