I feel like St. Patty’s gets a lot more national media coverage every year than Cinco de Mayo, but being from Texas, Cinco is a much more prominent holiday. Every restaurant, bar and green-space turns into a fiesta of fun. At least here in Austin, Tx, St. Patrick’s falls the day after we end our 11 day South by Southwest Festival. Almost no one has the urge or energy to celebrate the most recognized patron saint of Ireland. I know I stayed in and nursed my hangover with an entire day of Netflix.
Your preference on which holiday is better is probably related to your geographic location, just like me. (Cleveland even dyes their river green and throws a massive parade.) I may be biased, but the reasons why these holidays are around is also an important talking point. Mexican culture celebrates an amazing triumph over the French, Ireland used to treat St. Patrick’s death as a more solemn occasion with most shops and bars closing for the day. Only in the last few decades have they started with festivities for mostly tourist reasons. Sorry, I like my holidays to have cultural meaning! And don’t forget, Mexican food beats lamb stew and soda bread any day.