Remember to wear blue this Sunday for St. Patrick’s Day.
That’s right, blue.
Believe it or not, blue, not green, was the original color for the cultural festival that marked the death of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland.
And that’s not all.
Enjoy your plate of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, but understand what most will be eating in Ireland on Sunday is lamb, cheaper cuts of beef and soda bread.
For more than 100 years, expensive cuts of beef generally were exported to England, so Irish seldom could find, or afford, briskets and the corning spices. The Great Famine between 1845-49 resulting from potato blight led the mass migration of the Irish to the U.S. Corned beef was more readily available in the new world, especially with number of Kosher butchers in the Northeast.
So essentially, corned beef is an American thing.
Also, about 70 percent of the cabbage eaten in a year is done during the week surrounding St. Patrick’s Day.
By the way, if you don’t want to stir the ire of a true Irishman, don’t say “Happy St. Patty’s Day.” It’s St. Patrick’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day. (But if you buy him a pint, all will be forgiven).
Which brings us to another thing – St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is quite sobering. It’s a day to go to church and wear shamrocks, since Saint Patrick used to shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity when he brought Christianity to the country. The four leaves of the shamrock represent hope, faith, love and luck.
As if we really needed a reason, why do so many people drink on St. Patrick’s Day?
According to WalletHub, more than 33 million people will party on Sunday, which means more than 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed. That’s a payday of about $3.5 billion for bars around the world – except in Ireland where most pubs are closed to observe the national holiday.
In the U.S., police departments will be on the high alert. There were three alcohol-related arrests in Clay County last year the night of the St. Patrick’s Day.
Thirty-two percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. on St. Patrick’s Day will be alcohol-related, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
But if you’re home or have a designated driver, go ahead and wear blue and have fun. But remember, that alarm will be loud and sooner than you think on Monday.