| Opinion |

Latinos Should Give St. Patrick's Day Back To the Irish, Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Instead

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I love Irish peeps. Some of my best friends have been Irish. The Irish are cool.

The gregariousness of the Irish may be why Latinos in Miami tend to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with more reverence than they celebrate Cinco de Mayo -- another so-called "drinking" holiday, but also a more Latincentric one.

To be honest, I've never been big on either one. More so, I've just observed with wry amusement how Cubans, Colombians, Nicaraguans, and other Latinos have scurried about making sure that secure plans were in place to celebrate a religious holiday of the Irish people. Should we Hispanics instead perhaps try to keep it just a tad bit more real?

On St. Patrick's Day the Irish traditionally attend church in the morning and feast on bacon and cabbage later in the day. You may ask yourself why anyone would attend church on St. Patty's Day. Again, it is a religious holiday for the Irish.

Our celebrating St. Patrick's Day is akin to a Christian celebrating Yom Kippur. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

For those who would say that we aren't in Ireland and that March 17 has acquired a social significance as opposed to its original religious one, I say one thing: phooey.

To assimilate a country's religious holiday into your personal calendar as a socially acceptable excuse to binge drink is more than silly - it's also pretty disrespectful.

Although I believe in a higher power, I do not belong to or associate myself with any particular religion, but if I were, let's say Muslim for instance, I'd be pretty insulted if the people of Jamaica decided to celebrate Eid-Al-Adha by guzzling down Red Stripe and wearing whimsical headgear.

Now, Cinco de Mayo is not a religious holiday -- in fact, it isn't even that big of a deal in Mexico proper. I'm sure the Mexican people wouldn't mind us Latin-Americans downing a few shots as a nod to their defeat of the French during the Franco-American War.

Sure, we won't have silly headgear to wear as we toss back Coronas and Patron, but hey, we could do without four-leaf clover antennae and green plastic bowler hats if you think about it.

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