PantherJIG: a St. Patrick’s Day special

South Florida's St. Patrick’s Day iconography | Kaysea Suzana, PantherNOW

Conor Moore and Kaysea Suzana | PantherNOW Staff

Ireland, the land of Galway, Guinness and gingers. The Emerald Isle has long been a source of both fascination (for Americans who claim they’re 1/40th Irish) and contempt (If you’re Margaret Thatcher).

St. Patrick’s Day is commonly thought of as a cultural holiday, but it has its origins in Christianity. The holiday honors the life of St. Patrick, a Roman missionary and Ireland’s patron saint.

Little fun fact: St. Patrick’s Day was actually celebrated in the US in Florida’s own St. Augustine back when it was a Spanish colony, before New York or Boston. Take that for internationalism.

March 17, the day on which the holiday is traditionally celebrated, is the day of St. Patrick’s death, which we think is a bit in poor taste, but we’re sure St. Patrick doesn’t mind too much.

As with most holidays celebrated in America that are taken from another culture, St. Patrick’s Day here has lost its original meaning, which was celebrating the Christianization of St. Patrick and his achievements, such as…driving out snakes?

Personally, snakes seem pretty cool. But that’s just us.

So what do Ireland and Florida have in common?

For starters, they both love dancing.

Miami’s forte in Latin American dancing comes with a wide pool of genres, rivaling Irish step-dances.  

There’s also a fascination with sports bars, given Miami’s own obsession with Duffy’s Sports Grill and Flanigans.

Both are often open until late, offering specials that exactly mimic the meager hourly wage the average uni student can afford. 

A tragic tale that many FIU students will know too well. 

Did we mention both Ireland and Miami also love driving out snakes? Florida still has a ways to go with the burmese python invasion.

But reptiles are not on the menu for St. Patties day, with Ireland taking pride in its corned beef with stewed potatoes – truly an alternate universe version of the superior Latin carne con papas. 

Last but not least, both Dublin and Miami have been visited by extraterrestrials.


Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit (As per Google translate, that’s Happy St. Patrick’s Day in Irish)!

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