WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – For many, Saint Patrick’s Day is an opportunity to be Irish for just the day. But for two Irish men, the holiday is part of who they are.
“All my friends at school are like ‘oh, what’s it like to be Irish? What’s it like to be Irish, like, what do you do since you’re so Irish?'” said Ethan McCallion, who moved to Lafayette with his family this winter from Ireland.
He says it’s about more than just wearing green.
“I get to spend time with my family, and hear the music, eat traditional food, just nice doing our traditions,” said Ethan.
Ethan’s father, Mickey McCallion said a few things are different about the holiday here.
“Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland is usually one day. In America, you seem to celebrate it on the weekend because of the work week and stuff ,” said Mickey.
Even though it’s just one day, people make the most of it in Ireland.
“Tomorrow all his cousins will all be off school tomorrow, because it’s a national holiday. So, they’ll really get up [and] they’ll hit the pub at 11 o’clock tomorrow morning, and maybe by 2 or 3 in the morning on Tuesday morning they’ll finish,” said Mickey.
It was also a day that he, along with friends and family savored.
“It was the one day during lent that you were allowed to drink. They used to tell you, you’d have a special dispensation to drink. All your pints of Guinness saved up all throughout lent for that day. And then the next day you were off it again,” said Mickey.
Mickey says having a Guinness on the day because of who it was with.
“Ireland is so small so it’s very easy to get together with the large families. [I have] four brothers and two sisters and we’d get together with our parents and my wife’s brothers and sisters and stuff and have a big celebration. [We'd] carry each other home from the pub. Last man standing carries everybody.”
Mickey says being able to be at Nine Irish Brothers, one of the few he says is nearly identical to an Irish pub, is refreshing for him. And for Ethan, he’s just happy to see his homeland’s holiday so widely celebrated.
“It’s just nice to see everyone like celebrate the holiday that I would celebrate every single year,” said Ethan.