PRESTON –> LIVERPOOL: St. Paddy’s Day in the City

After spending Valentine’s Day at a train station, I figured why not continue the tradition and spend St. Patrick’s Day there as well? So, a few days ago, I hopped on a train to Liverpool.

Initially, the goal was to get to Ireland for St. Paddy’s Day- after all, who wouldn’t want to celebrate in the homeland of the holiday? But after crunching a few numbers and realizing that the 17th fell on a Monday, my friends and I settled for the nearby English city of Liverpool, which apparently has a large Irish population.

However the St. Paddy’s Day celebrations started long before I even headed off to Liverpool. One of my local friends works at an Irish pub in town and after being summoned down there to “watch” the festivities on a Thursday night, I got roped into Irish dancing with a handful of other unsuspecting souls. I definitely can’t do a proper Irish jig to save my life, but I enjoyed the traditional Irish music and the company nonetheless.

The following day, the Irish rugby team won the Six Nations rugby tournament, providing even more cause for celebration.  As one of the select Americans in town, I often feel that our loud voices and forward nature is a little obnoxious, even when we try to tame it. But after surrounding myself with Irishmen I realized Americans quickly become the quiet ones- especially during rugby matches.

Growing up, the number one tradition I associated with St. Patrick’s Day was the necessity to wear green. I used to wear green pajamas to bed the night before just so that my brothers wouldn’t have the opportunity to pinch me before I got dressed. Over here in England though, while green was still present throughout the sea of people, there’s not the same obligation to wear it; nobody goes around pinching other people who aren’t wearing it.

But despite the differences, there was still plenty of Irish spirit and paraphernalia to be seen: Guinness hats, horseshoe sunglasses, Irish flags (more often than not worn as capes), green beverages, etc. and I was glad to be a part of it.