Here's Adam Kotsko with some merry thoughts about St. Patrick's Day:
St. Patrick's Day expresses the fundamental nihilism at the heart of American life. The sole purpose of the holiday is drunkenness—indeed, it is a celebration of drunkenness for its own sake. The completely phoned-in requirement of green clothing makes even the abomination of adult Halloween look like a rich and meaningful tradition. The reference to Irish culture—consisting of excessive drinking and the color green—is not so much a parody of Ireland as a parody of the very idea of a cultural heritage as such.
You may now proceed to the comment thread to debate whether Kotsko has identified a bug or a feature. Alternately, you can read the rest of his rant about the holiday here. If it gets you depressed, don't worry: Today it's OK to start drinking early.