The annual celebration of St Patrick’s Day signifies the arrival of the Spring season, which also represents much needed warmer weather on the horizon for Canadians. During Spring, the payment processing industry will witness a surge of business from merchants who operate contracting businesses plus outdoor vendors as they will resume employing mobile payment technology for its ease of use in collecting debit and credit card payments on-the-go. To delve into this phenomenon further, MONEXgroup investigates the history behind St Patrick’s Day and how mobile payment technology coincides nicely with the change in seasons.
There are several important holidays in Canada that are celebrated during Spring including Easter, but the earliest one is St Patrick’s Day which always falls on the cusp of the season, March 17. Most Canadians are well aware of St Patrick’s Day because it’s a festive occasion in which people come together wearing green, enjoy a drink or two at bars and attend a St Patrick’s Day Parade.
Important Aspects of St Patrick’s Day
St Patrick’s Day originated with a 5th century Christian missionary from Ireland. It is believed that he was born in Britain in the fourth century into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the church. According to records, at 16, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. He allegedly spent six years on the island working as a shepherd and during this time he found his higher faith. Supposedly Patrick’s higher faith told him to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest (Legends of Saint Patrick). St Patrick was important to the Irish people because he brought Christianity to them, as he helped to baptize thousands of Irish and ordained priests to lead them. In another folklore tale, St Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to illustrate the Christian divinity, which is the reason why the shamrock is regarded as sacred and has become the symbol of St Patrick’s Day (What did St Patrick Do?).
Celebration and Traditions
St Patrick’s Day celebrations involve public parades and festivals, céilithe (Irish traditional music sessions), and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Moreover, there are also grand banquets and dances, but these gala events were more commonly practiced in the past (St Patrick’s Day in Canada).
St Patrick’s Day Parades & Beverages
St Patrick’s Day parades started in North America around the 18th century; the parade would bring together the entire community and include marching bands, military, firefighters, cultural organizations, charitable organizations, voluntary associations…etc.
Drinking certain alcoholic beverages– particularly Irish whiskey, beer or cider – has become a well known and commonly practiced part of St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Another tradition of this holiday is the “drowning of shamrock” which is putting the shamrock into the bottom of a cup which is filled with whiskey, beer or cider (popular drinks during the holiday). The shamrock would either be swallowed with the drink, or be taken out and tossed over the shoulder for good luck (St Patrick’s Day Parades).
“Wearing of the Green” and Origins of Shamrock
On St Patrick’s Day it is tradition to wear green clothing/accessories plus shamrocks. It was believed that Saint Patrick used a shamrock, which is a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. The colour green has been associated with Ireland since the 1640s, while green shamrocks and green ribbons have been worn on St Patrick’s Day since at least the 1680s. Therefore, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the use of the colour green and its association with St Patrick’s Day gained popularity.
The wearing of a ‘St Patrick’s Day Cross’ was also a popular custom in Ireland until the early 20th century. This was a Celtic Christian cross symbol made of paper that was “covered with silk or ribbon of different colours, and a bunch or rosette of green silk in the centre” (St Patrick’s Day Clothing).
How Canadians Celebrate St Patrick’s Day
Montreal boasts one of the largest and most historical St Patrick’s Day parades in North America. This is probably because the city flag contains a shamrock in its lower-right quadrant, and the parade has been running since 1824. St Patrick’s Day, however, has been celebrated in Montreal since as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers.
In Western Canada, the Irish Association of Manitoba runs an annual three-day festival of music and culture around St Patrick’s Day. In 2004, the CelticFest Vancouver Society organized its first yearly festival in its downtown core to celebrate the Celtic Nations and their cultures. A parade is of course included in this event.
The St Patrick’s Day Parade in Toronto has been occurring annually since 1863. The heavily attended parade in the downtown Toronto happens on the Sunday closest to March 17th and attracts over 100,000 spectators. Some groups, notably Guinness, have lobbied to make Saint Patrick’s Day a national holiday.
Spring Season and Mobile Payment Technology
As the sunny weather returns and greenery blooms, outdoor businesses prepare for a spike in sales by addressing their need for having mobile payment technology at their disposal. MONEXgroup offers a wide array of mobile payment technology solutions to support seasonal businesses.
What to Look for in 2017 with Mobile Payment Technology
Our mobile phones are no longer simply a device that allows us to make phone calls and send text messages. Today’s Smartphones are essentially our mini-computers, personal assistants and virtual shopping carts.
The following takes a closer look at the top five mobile payment technology trends for 2017:
- The continual influence of Mobile Wallets: Mobile wallets will exceed consumer expectations for convenience in 2017. Statistically speaking, Apple Pay alone reported a growth of one million new users per week and this powerhouse in mobile payment technology will only continue to grow in 2017
- End to End Purchase Experience on Smartphone: Consumers will want to purchase, track status and receive updates about their items on their Smartphone
- NFC & Bluetooth on the Rise: Driven by Apple’s continuous expansion in the mobile payment technology market and industry, consumers will become more adept at using wireless everywhere they go in the coming year. This sets the stage for increased use of NFC & Bluetooth in conjunction with mobile payment technology based transactions, with widespread consumer adoption in 2017
- A New Kind of Personal Assistant: Digital assistants will spark a new kind of relationship between consumers and their Smartphones. Using data from Google, the personal assistant technology is capable of providing consumers information based on their online habits, searches and behaviours. This utility will intensify consumer dependency on their Smartphones
- The sharing economy: Innovations in mobile payment technology will drive the sharing economy in 2017. For instance, new Fintech apps are popping up every day, offering all kinds of conveniences and things we never knew we needed. Consequently, apps that are popularized and shared amongst consumers are essentially sharing the economy because consumers are using them for different lifestyle purposes
MONEXgroup and Mobile Payment Technology
MONEXgroup is a Canadian-based merchant services company specializing in a variety of POS machines and mobile payment technology solutions that allows business owners to create their own merchant accounts and accept virtually all forms of payment, regardless of where they are. Our Mobile Checkout technology is ideal for merchants who operate an outdoor business such as delivery service, contracting jobs, outdoor kiosks, food truck, sales booth…etc.
MONEXgroup partners with top-tier card acquirers in association with major banks and delivers the benefit of next day deposits. This form of a bridge between the business owner and the card acquirer is simplified through a trustworthy Merchant Service provider letting owners access their merchant accounts to track their transactions anytime, anywhere. MONEXgroup’s Mobile Checkout solution accepts processing a variety of credit card payments including: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and JCB. Our mobile payment technology enables businesses on-the-move to grow their existing business by offering real-time payment processing services via Smartphone or Tablet. The Mobile Checkout application supports advanced functionalities including E-mail / SMS receipts, calculation of Gratuities, and an image-based product catalog with pricing. For more information please visit: MONEXgroup Mobile Checkout or call 1.866.767.7253.
When partnering with the number one payment processor in Canada; MONEXgroup will increase your efficiency and quality of service and lower the related costs. Request a Cost Comparison Analysis today.
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