Arthur’s Day 2013 (Elizabeth Zona)

9 Oct

When I first heard about Arthur’s Day, I was immediately excited. I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about a (n unofficial) holiday that promotes the anniversary of the Guinness brewing company? Live music and pub crawling is more than anyone could ever ask for. Even Guinness 250 Anniversary 1759-2009.jpgthough I never got to see any of the previously announced headliners for the worldwide music event, which included The Script and Emeli Sande, the smaller Dublin-based bands that I did get to experience added to the overall night just as much, if not more. After all, the events’ advertisements that I had seen all over the city leading up to that night did say “Showcasing Ireland’s Talent & Creativity”.

The event was first organized in 2009 by Diageo, a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, to celebrate Guinness’ 250th anniversary. Diageo, which is headquartered in London, England, is the world’s largest producer of spirits, such as Smirnoff and Baileys, and a major producer of beer and wine, such as Guinness. It sells its products in over 180 countries and has offices in around 80 countries. The event is often (and probably rightly) criticized as being nothing more than a marketing ploy to increase sales of Guinness. The “holiday” has even been held on a Thursday night since its 2009 inception, which is traditionally a “student night” in Dublin and in many towns in Ireland. Having said that, it’s pretty hard for someone to disagree with the criticism. Diageo has literally made up a holiday just so that they can promote their own products. But all that aside, it’s also pretty hard for someone to not want to participate. Even though the holiday is made-up the atmosphere is still something alone that is worth experiencing. We all know the classic stereotype that Irish people like to drink… a lot. But what better way to make all these people happy drunks, than to slap on a reason to celebrate their fine country on a normal Thursday night of drinking. Walking through Temple Bar that night is like nothing you will ever experience anywhere else. Music spills out of every pub you pass; everywhere people are singing and dancing (and throwing up, but that’s something entirely different); and everyone is dressed up to celebrate. The national pride of this country will never stop to amaze me; and the best part is you will always feel right at home.

There has also been a lot of negativity towards the event due to a 30% increase in ambulance calls in Dublin on that night in 2012. Honestly, after the night I saw I can’t argue with skepticism. The highlights of the night included: seeing a taxi hit a bike cart and the bike cart rider promptly opening the door to the taxi and kicking its driver in the face, several men being wailed on by pub bouncers, and a man passed out in the middle of the sidewalk near Bow Lane. Now obviously this is probably a little more extreme than the casual drunken mishaps you see on an average Irish weekend, but hey, who am I to judge. The Irish culture is one that is highly stereotyped. And most of those stereotypes, as it so happens, turn out to be pretty accurate. But through the drinking and fighting it is easy to see that this is not a bad thing. This is Ireland. Not all of Ireland, but this is a very large part of what makes this country different from any other. Because despite behaviors seen in pubs on the weekends, the Irish people are still very proud. They love their country, as right they should. They are proud of who they are and what they do and they embrace everything, because that’s what they want. Never have a felt so welcomed into any culture more than that of Ireland, because when it comes down to it, this country is really just beer and comradery.







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