Every year on March 17, Ireland celebrates St. Patrick’s Day as a public holiday. Here in the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is not known as a public holiday. In several ways, many people in America who are of the irish descent take offense to this.
This is a day where we should get school and work off to celebrate. According to The Washington Times, with 34.4 million Americans of Irish descent, should St. Patrick’s Day be recognized as a public holiday?
Millions of people of the Irish ethnicity want to celebrate the holiday dedicated to them on that actual day. With St. Patrick’s Day not being considered a public holiday, those spirited irishmen are not able to express themselves and celebrate on the actual day of St. Patrick’s Day.
It is unfair how in other countries, everyone gets the day off to celebrate their ethnicity. Again, according to the The Washington Times, the Irish-American population in the United States is seven times larger than Ireland, but unfortunately, the U.S. is one of the countries that do not recognize March 17 as a public holiday. Despite being the third largest country in the world, unfortunately United States is not one of those countries who celebrates it as a public holiday.
For several reasons, the United States should consider a change. It is very unfortunate that these many Irish American families are not able to spend quality time together to celebrate their ethnicity on the actual day. If family members come to visit from out of state or out of country, these families from the United States are not going to be home during the week to celebrate their time together since they will have to be at work and at school.
Lincoln High School students who feel strongly towards not having St. Patrick’s Day off have something to say about not being able to express themselves and celebrate their ethnicities on the day of St. Patrick’s Day.
Mia Santos, a junior at Lincoln High School, expresses she would “rather celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the actual day than a later date, just like I would rather celebrate Christmas on the twenty-fifth of December over any other day.”
Santos believes St. Patrick’s Day is just as important as any other holiday and she would like if this holiday was recognized more. Santos thinks it is fair that Ireland has that day off because “there are certain American holidays that Ireland doesn’t celebrate, but I also I believe that since 34.4 million people of the irish descent live in America, it should be recognized here in the US more than it is.”
Not only did Santos speak her mind about St. Patty’s day not being celebrated as a public holiday in the United States, another junior at Lincoln High School, Emily Kennedy, had something to say as well.
“My cousins used to come down every year but it has gotten more difficult with not having the day off. It has gotten hard to also go see my neighbor perform her Irish step dancing like we always do.”
Not having March 17th off from school and work has really put a damper on a lot of people’s plans who like to celebrate on the day of.
Kennedy continues to express her feelings, “I like when I get to celebrate Saint Patrick’s day on the actual day of the holiday. There is a significance to the holiday being on that day and that is why it should be celebrated on the actual day. St Patrick died on March 17 which is why it's celebrated then and not another day. Waiting for another day is not for the right reasons and everyone should be able to celebrate the day of.”
Both Santos and Kennedy’s families are extremely Irish and plan to celebrate with their extended family that they do not get to see as often. Planning to celebrate with their family has gotten more difficult because not everyone is available the same weekends or at the same time. Santos and Kennedy are convinced that if everyone was granted the day off on St. Patrick’s Day, then families would all be able to agree to celebrate on the actual day of the holiday, since that makes the most sense.
Clearly, Santos and Kennedy have strong feelings towards Saint Patrick’s Day not being titled as a public holiday in America. It is almost offensive that such a large percentage of the country has an Irish descent, yet we do not get the day off to celebrate. Hopefully in the near future, if possible, this will change and and the United States of America will be known as one of the countries that celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day as a public holiday.