If It’s Not Scottish It’s Crap

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  When everybody is Irish for a day.  You know, the Church wasn’t sure when St. Patrick’s actual birthday was.  Some thought the eighth and some the ninth of March.  So they added the two days together and made it the 17th.  WTF  You can’t make this stuff up.

White House Green Fountain March 17, 2009.

Did you know that green beer, or beer of any kind for that matter wasn’t always available in Ireland on St. Patty’s Day?  A bill was passed by an O’Mara in 1903 that made the day a religious holiday.  Since it was illegal to sell liquor on religious holidays in Ireland, until it’s repeal in 1970, Irish pubs had to close on that day.  In 1970 they made it a national holiday and drinking was allowed again.  A 67-Year St. Patty’s Day Prohibition.

Hallmark will sell 8-15 million cards for St. Patrick’s Day.  They’ve been doing it since the 1920s, although it is not a public holiday except in three other countries besides Ireland: Montseratt, Newfoundland and Labrador.  That’s not to say it’s not celebrated world-wide, just that it’s not a public holiday in the US, like Columbus Day, and Presidents Day, and Christmas.

McDonald’s will sell “Shamrock Shakes” during the month of March.  They’ve stopped on and off over the years, and not all stores have them, but they’re a pretty popular item out there and a pretty active search item on the web.  Seems the price has increased steadily over the years as well.  The  minty shake has an almost cult following, and through their efforts in online forums and petitions, they were able to bring the shake back in 2008 after a five-year hiatus.  They probably use the same vegetable dye to color it green as the City of Chicago does to turn the Chicago River green, by dumping 40 pounds of it into the river. 

You’ve all heard about how St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland.  Well, there has really never been any snakes in Ireland.  And here’s a shocker:  St. Patrick isn’t Irish and that’s not his real name.  His real name is Maewyn Succat and he was born in Scotland.  As was said in the movie “Braveheart”, “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!”

The Newark Bagpipes. Flickrcommons photo by Jackie.

And you’d think that the biggest celebrations, the most Irish Pride, would come from Ireland itself, but not so.  The City of New York goes overboard with their St. Patty’s celebrations.  The whole city smells of corned beef and cabbage.  The parade, which started in 1762, is the largest parade in the U.S.   Almost 3 million people come to see it, over 150,000 people are in the parade, and it spans a mile and a half.

So, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, have a green beer and some corned beef.  By the way, I’m told if its prepared correctly it has potatoes in it with the cabbage and corned beef.  Makes sense being an Irish dish.  I’m on a hunt now to find the best place in town to get me some.


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