Be Irish

Greetings from this Norwegian-English guy on the day that everyone’s Irish.

And after all I’m kind of in the neighborhood right. It’s ‘less than 200 miles between Great Britain and Ireland but some 1600 to Norway.

The Irish of Notre Dame did their part barely helding serve yesterday by slipping past Princeton in the opening round of the Dance.

But did you know March 17, a day of cultural and religious celebration and an Ireland public holiday has been designated on the day of his death since the 17th century.

What is interested to me is that St. Paddies parades hit the bricks on a bevy of dates although let’s face it the state’s observation in Butte serves at the pinnacle.

So just why the green beer, the wearing of green and the corn beef and cabbage?

First of all the wearing of a green shamrock is customary today, but you knew that.

It is said that St. Patrick used the three-leafed plant to explain the trinity to the pagan Irish.

North America started celebrating the day publicly in the 18th century while it didn’t reach the island until two centuries later.

The first celebratory parade in Dublin didn’t occur until 1931.

During the some 30 years of conflict starting in Ireland in the sixties there was little such celebrations but since 1998 celebrations between the previously war-torn groups have been held.

Interestingly corn beef and cabbage can be found worldwide except in Ireland.

Irish cattle are viewed as workhorses not food used for their strength and milk and salted beef consumption was limited to the aristocrats.

With the British invasion came the introduction of the potato and public beef consumption.

Corned beef described the size of salt crystals to cure the beef but the taste was far different since the salt was size of corn kernels pushing the taste more to just salt.

Wikipedia surmises that since Lenten restrictions are lifted on the holiday, that explains why drinking alcohol, especially Irish whiskey, became vogue.

A 2001 football trip to Hofstra brought three of us to an Irish pub in Times Square one September.

Too much colored water took us quite late the next morning back to Grand Central and Hempstead – I vividly remember few on the train and since I wasn’t sure what town we were returning that wasn’t good.

And no cab service at the stop wasn’t great but we arrived safely.

Just sayin’


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