This year, nearly 122 million Americans will join together in celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. Celebrations range from wearing shamrock earrings; to choking down traditional Saint Patrick’s Day fare (Shamrock Shakes, of course!); to watching a parade, to swilling excessive amounts of green-tinted, macro-brewed American beer — in which case the “celebration” continues to be felt the next morning. Roughly 200,000 marchers will participate in New York’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade. The people of Chicago will dump 40 pounds of dye into the Chicago River to turn it green for the day (it’s debatable as to what color the river is “naturally”).
What is this all for?
Unplugging is an ancient practice. During the Christian season of Lent — the six-week period leading up to the Easter holiday — many people unplug from a variety of things. Some refrain from eating chocolate. Others give up meat on Fridays. Still more might refrain from alcohol, binge-watching or cursing at other drivers in traffic. Giving something up, or refraining from doing something, is often referred to as “fasting.”