Monday was St. Patrick’s Day. The Brandon Sun conducted an online poll asking readers what they were doing for their day of green beer and shamrock shakes, and found most people didn’t celebrate because it was a Monday.
While 27 per cent of respondents said they wore green on Monday, just three per cent drank green beer, nine per cent drank regular beer (hold the food colouring please) four per cent drank other Irish drinks (likely whiskey or Irish Cream). Just three per cent made a point of cooking Irish food, while eight per cent said they hunted leprechauns. Two per cent "followed rainbows" and 61 per cent didn’t really celebrate since it was a Monday.
As for those rainbows, it snowed Monday so there wasn’t much rainbow action to be had. It’s quite possible all the beer and whiskey drinkers and rainbow chasers were the same people. But the reality is, St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that we’ve got all wrong.
But there's a lot more to Saint Patrick’s Day than most people know.
Truthfully, you've probably been living a lie.
When you learn all the facts, this holiday is actually kind of bizarre. Something to remember for next year if you’re leery about your little green friends dragging you out for an Irish brew next year.
However if you rather enjoy St. Paddy’s, then simply ignore my findings.
Saint Patrick wasn't Irish
Historians believe he was born in what is now England, Scotland or Wales. (He still had an accent and that’s good enough for me.)
Saint Patrick’s Day was invented in America
Saint Patrick's Day celebrations began in the 18th century in American cities with large Irish immigrant populations. One of the biggest celebrations in the entire world is in Boston. (Going to a St. Patty’s day parade and party in Boston would be like doing Mardi gras in New Orleans. But instead of beads and babes, its sud soaked socks and a dash of fist fighting.)
Saint Patrick’s colour is blue
A particular blue hue was known as "St. Patrick blue" and for hundreds of years it was this blue that was associated with the holiday. However, green became the dominant color of St. Patrick’s Day over time as it celebrated Irish nationalism. (This and successful marketing on the part of Saskatchewan Roughrider fans)
March 17 is the day Saint Patrick died
So you're really celebrating his death? (Does this make the holiday our only "wake" of the year? Apparently so.)
The shamrock isn’t the symbol of Ireland
Sure, you can find shamrocks all over the Emerald Isle, but the real symbol is the harp. (But nobody has a lucky harp.)
Saint Patrick’s Day used to be a dry holiday
Today’s booze-bags look to the holiday as a great excuse to start drinking Guinness at 9 a.m. Until 1970, however, all pubs in Ireland were closed in observance of the religious feast day. (Doesn’t booze make everything better? Ever gone to a karaoke bar that didn’t serve booze? Didn’t think so.)
There are more Irish people living in North American than Ireland
The population of Ireland is about 4.2 million. In contrast, there are around 36 million people of Irish descent living in North America. (And all of them are Celtics fans, Bruins fans, Red Sox fans and have every CD ever made by U2.)
Saint Patrick didn’t drive all the snakes from Ireland
Probably because there's no evidence that snakes have EVER existed in Ireland. The climate is much too chilly for them. Maybe they meant he drove some lawyers HOME after one too many pints.
Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are slim to none: 1 in 10,000 to be exact
David Tremblett, one of our twitter followers found one 10 years ago and stuck it between two pieces of tape to keep for just this occasion. His picture is on this page.
Corned beef and cabbage isn’t a traditional Irish dish
It's just about as Irish as spaghetti and meatballs. But cabbage does help you from passing a blarney stone.
Speaking of social media, Westman LOVES green stuff, and most of it has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day. We asked "what are your three favourite things that happen to be green?" (For the record, mine are Jalapeños, Limes and green onion.)
Veronica L. Havelange: Freshly mowed grass, Kermit the Frog, and spearmint gum
Robin Woodfield: Kohlrabi, fresh cut green grass, cucumbers!
Wanda Guay: Freshly cut grass, green apples, green eyes.
Tasha Scheepbouwer: Green Beans, Broccoli, Spinach
Charlotte Hall: Sour green apple suckers, pickles and mountain dew!
Dee Nepinak: Broccoli, Oscar the grouch, and fresh cut grass.
Lena Kirkness: Green onion, broccoli, honey dew
Kelly Kischook: Grass, Canadian $20 bills, and American money!
Amy Horvath: Grass, my birthstone, and the RIDERS BABY.
Carrie Lynn Woywada Kryshewsky: My sons love Green Bay packers and John Deere tractors and we love pistachio dessert.
Michelle Dutchyshen Mielke: RIDERS, Green grass (hopefully sooner than later) leaves on trees! Did I mention the RIDERS!!!
Connie Morrell: Grass, trees, green crème de menthe
Dawn Unger: Green mint ice cream, pickles, grass!!
Brandy Robertson: Freshly cut grass, asparagus, green apple suckers.
Kathleen Elizabeth Vandenberghe: Grass, green beans, grapes
Cheryl Stokes: Broccoli, grass, guacamole.
Alana Jayne Flannery: Pickles, pickles and PICKLES
Carolyn Currie Phillips: $20 bills, limes, cucumbers.
So as you can see, we have a lot of Rider fans in Westman and a lot of people that love grass. Since these people are from Westman and not Colorado, as can assume they are dying to get out and play on some green grass, as in lawns. Summer can’t come soon enough. Enjoy your first weekend of spring. Hopefully we see that kind of grass soon.
JOKE THIS WEEK
An Irishman, by the name of O’Malley proposed to his girl on St. Patrick’s Day. He gave her a ring with a synthetic diamond. The excited young lass showed it to her father, a jeweller. He took one look at it and saw it wasn't real.
The young lass on learning it wasn’t real returned to her future husband. She protested vehemently about his cheapness.
"It was in honour of St. Patrick’s Day," he smiled.
"I gave you a sham rock."
Vanessa Eliza Jean Eagle
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 22, 2014