Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.
The luck of the Irish can refer to Irish people having either particularly good or particularly bad luck. Lots of poker players believe in the Luck of The Irish (the good luck). Certainly on Saint Paddy’s Day you can see many of these players in casinos all over the world wearing green, having shamrocks pinned to their shirts or caps and some even refusing to play on any poker tables that are not covered with the traditional green felt. As Vinny mentioned on his blog here a few days ago “every poker player is guilty of their own bundle of superstitions.” I, for one, never ever play without my lucky shamrock poker card cover, even if sometimes it seems to bring me bad luck; when that happens, I just spin it and patiently wait for the good luck of the Irish to hit me again.