St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have been in full swing at Tigin Irish Pub since March 1 – themed pub quiz nights, whiskey tastings, European sports, live music and more. We embrace each occasion, big and small, and we love it — all of it. The celebratory atmosphere – the craic! Although, you might be surprised to know that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated differently in Ireland. Traditionally, it’s a quieter day spent with family, grounded in religion. Parades have fostered a bigger party vibe in recent years but, to the older generation, its a religious Holiday. The drinking part – well, that’s what the Irish do. The costumes, green beer, shots and dancing — all before noon –that’s what Americans did. There are a lot of things about Ireland’s National Holiday that might surprise you. Here’s a Top 5 List to help debunk what is and what is not “Irish”.
Top 5 American-Irish Myths:
1. Green Beer and Irish Car Bombs — Take note and avoid the side-eye of your Irish bartenders today. Rule: Don’t order a round of “Irish car bombs“. Do order a round of “Car Bombs”. Got it? Google it later but just trust us when we tell you that there is some pretty heavy political stuff going on there. The other faux pas to avoid is Green Beer. Just NO …green bottles of lager with little shamrocks -sure! Why the Hell not. It’s your day and a lager is a great session beer. Just spare your bartender the green dye request, especially when ordering a Guinness. Ne’er a true Irishman would befoul the beautiful ruby red hue of Guinness stout. Seriously, folks. This American gimmick has been used for years at St. Patrick’s Day festivities and branded “Irish”, but I can assure you, it’s not. Gah.
2. “St. Patty’s Day”— Under no circumstances should you abbreviate St. Patrick’s Day with the use of the two “t’s”. Padraig is the Irish origin of Patrick and one of the most popular names in Ireland. The affectionate nickname of Patrick is Paddy. Historically, there is use of Paddy as a derogatory stereotype of the Irish in general, but I am not going there either right now. I just want to clear up for you that “Patty” is the shortened version of Patricia, not Patrick. So Paddy Hard this year folks!
3. Oh, Danny Boy — say it isn’t so! Alas, it is true …the most famous of Irish songs was written by an Englishman named Frederic Weatherly. (Gasp!) His pipes, his pipes were calling down the ENGLISH mountainside. Don’t fret though, his sister in law was Irish and directly influenced the path of this song back to Ireland and the countless weddings, funerals and random singalongs in public houses across Ireland ever since. We will certainly continue to hear Oh Danny Boy! for years to come!
4. Corned Beef and Cabbage – Sorry, but this St. Patrick’s Day classic is as American as apple pie. In the 19th century, Irish immigrants had a pretty tough time (along with other European ethnic groups, including the Jewish and Italian immigrants) and often faced discrimination. Many of the Irish working class in New York City patronized Jewish delis and lunch carts, and it was there that the Irish first tasted corned beef. Cured and cooked much like their beloved Irish bacon, Corned beef was seen as a tasty and affordable. meat. So, what was born out of necessity has become one of the most popular rituals on St Patrick’s Day across America. FUN FACT: Corned beef and cabbage was even served alongside mock turtle soup at President Lincoln’s inauguration dinner in 1862.
5. Shamrock vs Four Leaf Clover – An easy ‘miss’ on your iPhone keyboard, but be mindful not to throw around any four-leaf clover emojis in your Instagram posts today. Remember, we are wearing green today to represent the shamrock, the national symbol of Ireland. The three-leafed clover is closely associated with ol’ Saint Patrick himself and it is widely believed that he used the shamrock to explain the teachings of the Holy Trinity, true or not. Back in Ireland, on St. Patrick’s Day, it is customary to wear a bushy sprig of three-leaf clovers. And, one tradition that is true -the “drowning the shamrock” – at the end of your day you’ll place a shamrock in a glass of whiskey before drinking it. Slainté!
Here’s to you and yours for a Safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Please drink responsibly today. Plan ahead. Call a cab or use Uber.