When it comes to the US ethnic identities, the Irish remain one of the most influential groups. Since the mass immigration of the 18th and 19th centuries, they integrated with the established immigrant communities.
Despite living in America for more than 150 years, the group has maintained strong ties with their mother nation through cultural activities passed from one generation to another.
With a strong background of social cohesiveness, it was hard to find Irish immigrants living in isolation after migration. They formed Irish communities that asserted influence in the social-economic organization of the host cities and states. If you are living in an Irish Neighborhood, then you understand what it means to be “Irish” perhaps a few days per year through their annual commemorations.
1. The Centenary Of 1916 Rising
Mural commemorating Easter Rising in Dublin-Image Source: Extramural Activity
In the period before 18th Century, the British portrayed strong military power through conquests. Just like Ireland, a majority of the States in America were colonized by the British. Under the British Rule, a significant number of the Irish fled the harsh rules, while some were sold to slavery. Having faced a similar colonial master, the Irish Immigrants joined their host counterparts in the struggle for independence.
Unlike in the US, the British rule in Ireland extended to more than two centuries. The Easter Monday of 1916 was the most defining moment for the Irish in their fight for independence. With the war existing for more six days, at least, 300 civilians were injured with at least sixteen rebel leaders executed after the courts-martial ruling. Despite the quick suppression of the rising, it gave rise to a Republic in 1919.
While in America, the Irish continue to keep strong bonds with the events of their native land. Every Easter Monday, Irish Americans join their counterparts in Ireland in commemorating the heroes that gave their lives during the War. For instance, in 2016 Easter Rising celebrations, a commemoration concert will be held in Austin, while Chicago will host a documentary screening.
2. The St. Patrick’s Day
Image Source: Kevin Gutting
Globally, people know the Irish for two major things: Religion and the Vibrant Drinking Culture. In Ireland, the population is mainly Catholic, as opposed to Irish American population that is predominantly Protestant. The St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the person that introduced Christianity in Ireland. Since the first Parade of 1867, the Celebrations attracts an enormous crowd in the major ceremonies, Clubs, and partying areas.
Despite the celebration date being fixed in the annual calendar, the Catholic Church is at liberty to move the parties for their global calendar of events such as Palm Sunday. On this day, America turns green, and every participant becomes Irish. Despite the wide acceptance among Americans, the celebration is not a federal holiday. It’s a legal holiday in Massachusetts, perhaps the most Irish state in population density.
3. The Washington Irish Ball
Sculpture of Annie Moore in Ireland-Image Source: Walks of New York
With a strong social organization, the Irish have excelled in the political and economic sectors. While the St. Patrick’s Day is perhaps the most Irish event celebrated in America, little is talked about the day when George Washington Declared the day a holiday in 1780. Twenty years ago, the Irish-American Cultural institute first commemorated the Proclamation on February 23rd. Since then, the Institute has held the events every year, with 2016 organized to happen at the Madison Hotel.
The icing of the ceremony is the Annie Moore Award usually presented to the person that has made notable contributions to the Irish and the Irish Americans. As many historians would tell, Annie Moore was the Irish immigrant who entered through the newly constructed port of entry at Ellis Ireland, in 1892.
4. The Capital Irish Film Festival
Vultures, an Irish Film premiered at this year’s festival-Image: Lamb Films
The Irish Americans and the nodern immigrants have shown impressive prowess in the music and film industries. Currently, Hollywood boasts of both Irish and Irish American actors and actresses that have left indelible marks in the movie industry. The Capital Irish Film Festival is on a tenth anniversary since inception.
The four-day celebration will occur from 3rd to 6th March 2016, in Washington D.C. During the four days, at least, 20 films comprising of documentaries, narratives and animations will feature. The videos are aimed at exhibiting the Irish identity with several filmmakers gracing the events. Other than being a peripheral part of the annual Easter Rising, the festival aims at exposing the fresh Irish artistic talent to the larger American Audience.
5. The Irish American Heritage Festival
Image Source: Tim Boyle
If you are looking forward to enjoying Irish step dancers, Irish music, cuisines and beverages, the Heritage Festival gives you entertainment and culture in one package. Happening from 8th to 10th July 2016, the Chicago-based festival is a suitable destination for families as the children are not left out in the area. The stages showcase both international and local Irish music with more than 100 performers expected on the five stages.
Now Enjoy This Fascinating Video Of Irish Step Dancers:
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XpatNation is a Social News and Lifestyle magazine, focusing on the insights and experiences on ex-patriots living in The United States.
XpatNation brings together the voices, thoughts, perceptions and experiences of the people of the world who have made the USA their home. Using their insight and unique understanding of the global world we live in to discuss culture, lifestyle, Geo politics and the day to day on-goings of this proud and powerful nation.