Some of the special days of celebration like Mardi Gras and Halloween are booming explosions of revelry while others like St. Patrick’s Day move under the radar. What makes the difference? Is it masking? Well, masks certainly remove inhibitions and let restrained feelings surface, but St. Patrick’s Day has another advantage on the meter of civility—it started as a religious feast day.
The History Channels websiteprovides a wealth of information about the historical background of St. Patrick’s Day. The feast day is March 17 because that is believed to be the date Patrick died in the year 461. After being captured in England at age 16, he was sold as a slave in Ireland. He escaped and returned to convert the Island to Christianity. Legend says the shamrock was the visual tool he used to explain the Trinity.
HISTORY OF ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE
The big event for the feast day is parades. Surprisingly the St. Patrick’s Day parade didn’t begin in Ireland, but in New York City where Irish troops in the British Army celebrated by marching through the City on March 17, 1762.
Nearly one hundred years later The Potato Famine drove many poor Irish to seek a new life in America. At first they were shunned and had a hard time finding employment. They formed Irish Aid Societies to help each other and the Aid Societies held parades on St. Patrick’s Day. The public ridiculed them until the Irish-Americans discovered the power a political block of votes can deliver. The “Green Machine” took on a new importance that politicians catered to.
Modern times see St. Patrick’s Day celebrated throughout the country, actually throughout a great part of the world—even in Japan.
Today everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and gift shops get a boost in business by helping them do just that. The fun starts early with anyone going to work as well as anyone out shopping or socializing. Women need St. Patrick’s Day jewelry. After all, no one wants to get pinched for not having their green. And the quality of St. Patrick’s Day jewelry has certainly come up over the last few years.
A leader in quality seasonal jewelry is “Best Brand”. This company has unique ways of expressing the season and the quality of the jewelry that delivers the theme is superb. For the most part, the company does metalwork and stamping is the way it delivers marvelous detail. The pendant shown is an example. Stamping a thin sheet of steel creates raised dimensional relief with exceptional detail. A plate is cut to seal the back, creating quality fashion jewelry with the same process used for sterling silver. Next the pendant is silver plated, polished, and the shamrocks are epoxied green. The finished piece can be worn as a pendant or a pin. This is quality jewelry that women can be proud to wear on St. Patrick’s Day.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY TIES FOR GUYS GOING TO WORK
What about the guys? They’re not left out. St. Patrick’s Day accessories offer a variety of neckties in the theme. Imagine your customers showing up for work in a tie that blares ST. Patrick’s Day spirit. After all, everyone is Irish on March 17.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY BEADS FOR PARADES
Then there are the parades. Of course onlookers need to show their in the spirit. What better way than decked out in St. Patrick’s Day beads! The size of this nationwide celebration creates a big enough market that manufacturers can put plenty of attention into the Mardi Gras style beads made with St. Patrick’s Day themes.
Everything from leprechauns and shamrocks to green beer mugs and corn beef & cabbage are themes in these specialty beads made to celebrate the occasion. The nicer beads are all hand strung and of course have a predominantly green color.
Irish pubs are also part of the celebration and St. Patrick’s Day beads are a favorite for them. But normally they do not have the nice specialty beds you can offer your customers. So if some of your customers are going to stop for a green beer after the parade, they may want to standout by buying quality St. Patrick’s Day beads that you can provide them.
NOVELTY HATS FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY
But beads alone aren’t enough. No, the celebration also calls for novelty hats in St. Patrick’s Day themes. This can be felt leprechaun hats or velvet mad-hatters in green complete with a green beard. Deck out your customers with both beads and novelty hats and they can enjoy the parade without getting pinched for not wearing their green.
FEATHER BOAS FOR CELEBRATION
Alright, now your customers are going to be looking for green feather boas. That’s a sure sign they are part of the celebration. Feather boas rank along with beads and novelty hats as the most popular party items for St. Patrick’s Day. The standard length of boas is 6 feet and the fullness is measured by weight. 55 to 60 grams are reasonably full feather boas that are still affordable.
The green boas shown are in that weight range and are actually a bargain because all the regulations going into imported feathers is causing prices on future shipments to go up.
NOVELTY SUNGLASSES FOR A HILARIOUS TIME
Novelty sunglasses are the final item on the list. These are for the intense reveler that really wants to have fun. Put these in your shop and you will notice people can’t pass them up without trying them on. A favorite style is green beer bottles. This is a hilarious way for your customers to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day.
Stock now because the celebration will soon be here. Place merchandise in one location to tell a story. If you are on the parade route, see if the municipality will let you set up in front of your store. Even if you’re not, word of mouth will go a long way to help advertise your shop.