Podcasting does odd things to time. You are listening to a up-to-the-second broadcast, but its a few days old. That's why I'm talking about March 17th now. The Morning Ireland (yes I listen to the second most depressing Irish broadcast, I need the updates live, and the details via download) presenters were, as an aside commenting that they would get in trouble for calling "Saint Patrick's Day" by the more commonly used name "Paddy's Day". The English don't have Georgie's Day, the Welsh don't have Dave's Day and the Scottish don't have Andy's Day (unless Andy Murray is playing tennis).
A note to American readers, March 17 is not "St. Patty's Day". Patty is the feminine of Patrick. St. Patricia's Day (or if you prefer St. Patty's Day) is August 25th, and features dried blood coming back to liquid form. Which is slightly creepy.
The thing is, Paddy's Day didn't loose its "saint" by accident. March 17 is both the feast day of Saint Patrick, and the international day of celebration to be Irish. To be a "Paddy". Think of it as an Irish Pride festival.
Paddy used to be, and sometimes is, a derogatory term for "an Irish person". The nickname of "Paddywagon" for an American Police van was a commentary on just how many Irish men had joined the US police forces. Somewhere along the day we claimed it back. "Paddy" is rarely used as a derogatory term, "Mick's" and "Tadhg's" are usually used in the way "Pommies" or "Yanks" are used, but it used to be worse. Paddy's Day would be the equivalent of the US's Black History month using the name starting with a "N" and ending with a smack to the mouth, but we embraced it. We made it out own.
And on the run up to March 17th, hundreds of landmarks around the globe were coloured green to celebrate this little country.
Paddy's Day is not about Saint Patrick. Its about being Irish and Proud. And maybe a little bit of snake banishing.
In pictures: The world goes green for St Patrick’s Day
The Great Wall of China and Downtown Disney Orlando joined a host of major landmarks and iconic sites around the world in lighting up green yesterday.