In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, with bar and restaurant specials posted and obvious to all, I have decided to arm my green beer-swilling, corned beef and hash munching friends with random bits of trivia about this holiday, Ireland, and good-luck charms to impress your friends on the town this evening. Extra points if you dress up like a Leprechaun.
1. Origin of St. Patrick's Day: This holiday is a celebration of the anniversary of the death of the saint in the fifth century. Though there are many fables about the saint (e.g. he drove all the snakes out of Ireland), the truth is Patrick was a man who was taken into captivity in Ireland who turned to religion for solace. He is said to have many visions from God that led him to eventually become a missionary. Whether you believe this or not, raise your glass to St. Patrick - he gave you a reason to break out those beads after Mardi Gras! (PS - St. Patrick was not even Irish - his father was Italian and his mother was Scottish! Oh, the scandal!)
2. Shamrock: This plant is very special to Ireland; it derives from the Celtic "seamroy" and is said to represent rebirth. It is said the shamrock was special to St. Patrick, who used it explain the idea of the Holy Trinity on his missions. It is also said to be very special to McDonald's, who makes a small fortune on a seasonal ice cream drink named after the plant.
3. Corned Beef and Cabbage: Sorry to say, folks, but much like the Shamrock, CB and C existed as a popular Irish tradition outside of St. Patrick's Day until relatively recently. Personally, my aversion to meat and the smell of this dish make me slightly biased, but I have many Recessionista friends who adore this meal. Just don't enjoy it along side a Shamrock shake - that is a bit much!
4. The Leprechaun: These little men were born of Celtic legends, always illustrating curmudgeon-like, almost sinister qualities. Then, Walt Disney came along in the late fifties with "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" and gave them a personality makeover. Fear not, those of you who insist on a world less than "Disney-fied" - in 1993, a horror movie by the same name and about these wiley little men came out. Bonus: It starred Jennifer Aniston.
Share this trivia pot of gold with friends over a wee little pint tonight on the town.
To all Recessionista lads and lasses, Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Recessionista Tip of the Day: Once your hangover wears off tomorrow, your mind may drift to (dah dah duhhh) your TAXES! As we come upon a little less than one month away from the due date, I will post some clever deductions and tips/tricks for my Recessionistas. In the meantime, take a look at this excerpt on 11 crazy but legal deductions from Kiplingers.