Many pub-goers will be looking forward to St Patrick’s Day as an excuse to enjoy a glass of traditional Guinness or Irish whiskey and that’s not just at home in Ireland. According to the financial website WalletHub, 33 million partiers around the world will join festivities to celebrate the day – which will see around 13 million pints of Guinness consumed worldwide!

The same study revealed that St Patrick’s Day is now the fourth most popular ‘drinking day’ in the US, behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas Day and Independence Day. In fact, 60 per cent of all Americans plan to celebrate the day.

In Ireland and Northern Ireland, St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday (this year it will be on the following day, as 17 March falls on a Sunday this year) and the day will be celebrated with the usual gusto.

In the UK, there is a growing tradition to mark St Patrick’s Day, particularly in Irish bars in cities and towns. The St Patrick’s Day Festival in London is now approaching its 17th year and will attract more than 125,000 people to events across the city, as well as a parade and festival in central London and Trafalgar Square. The festivities will showcase the best of Irish food, music and culture.

Here at PSE Associates we have felt the hospitality of the Irish for the past few months as we have supported our client Mitchells & Butlers with its ongoing programme of refurbishing its chain of Irish themed O’Neill’s Bars, as well as rolling out new ones. The bars have a focus on live music and sporting events.

Unsurprisingly, St Patrick’s Day will be celebrated across all the O’Neill’s venues – with, according to its website, ‘epic music, live sport, fancy dress and a craicing atmosphere’. In fact, the chain has dedicated a whole week to marking it with offers on each day.

We know that St Patrick’s Day is a great excuse to wear something green and drink Guinness or Irish whiskey, but who was he?

According to the BBC website, Patrick was born near the village of Bannevem Taburniae in Britain (although nobody is quite sure of its location). His father was a deacon, but Patrick was a non-believer. In his teens, Patrick was captured by a gang of Irish pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland (which he saw as a punishment for his lack of faith). He was put to work herding sheep and pigs but escaped on a boat back to Britain six years later.

Patrick then decided to follow his vocation to become a priest and, after a dream, was inspired to return to Ireland. He did so as a missionary and became the country’s second bishop.

Whatever your reasons for celebrating St Patrick’s Day – we hope you have a great time

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