Happy St. Patrick’s Day

st patricks dayNo parades, no bar or pub gatherings, no public celebrations, BUT did you know

1.  That Corned Beef and Cabbage was an American invention?

2.  That the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in America?

3.  That Ireland had no snakes so St. Patrick could not have banished them?

4.  That leprechauns are based upon Celtic fairies?

5.  That the shamrock was considered a sacred plant?

Click here to read about these and other fun St. Patrick Day facts.

St. Patrick’s color is really blue and not green.

While I eating some delicious Irish whisky cake during a Celtic discussion,  I was told that Jamison was the Catholic Irish Whisky and Bushmill was the Protestant Irish Whisky because Jamison was distilled in Northern Ireland and Bushmill in County Cork.

Jameson and Bushmills

However, this is an Irish-American fallacy.

According to Ask Your Bartender,

Jameson was pretty much founded in 1780 when John Jameson – a Scottish guy – purchased the Bow Street Distillery, which at the time was one of the biggest distilleries in Ireland. Now, it’s important to note that the Scottish Reformation occurred in 1560, so odds are in favor of the founder of the Jameson distillery, being Scottish, was a damn Protestant.

Bushmills, on the other hand, was officially licensed in 1608 by King James I (of Bible fame) and despite of its location deep in the heart of Protestant country (and this next bit is straight from my local Bushmills rep, so take it or leave it) has a Catholic as a master distiller.

According to everyone I’ve spoken with on the subject, you only really find this debate in the States, where Irish-American support of the Republic can sometimes be blind and often fueled by the very product we’re speaking of. But none of it means much, anyway: both distilleries are owned by huge international entities: Jameson by French liquor conglomerate Pernod-Ricard, and Bushmills by the English firm Diageo.

Beware the Ides of March and Spring Has Sprung

March is a hopscotch of Saints’ Days, equinox celebrations, with a bit of Shakespeare thrown in for good measure for measure.

Daylight Savings TimeThe week  begins with Daylight Savings Time on March 11, where we lose an hour of daylight in the morning but gain it in the evening.  So rather than being dark when I get home from work, it is dark when I get up and drive to work. (I’m still not sure how this benefits me.)

March 15 is the day the that Caesar was murdered on his way to the Senate.  A Soothsayer warns Caesar in Julius Caesar Act 1, Scene 2 in lines 103 and 109:  “Beware the Ides of March”.

st patricks dayOn March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish.  It is the traditional death date of St. Patrick .  People wear green to avoid being pinched by leprechauns and other less imaginary characters.

st joseph's day san juan capistranoOn March 19, the swallows return to the mission of San Juan Capistrano, California for St. Joseph’s Day.   St. Joseph is celebrated as the husband of the Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus.

The vernal equinox or Spring is celebrated on March 20.  The sun’s direct rays cross Earth’s equator from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere signalling the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  Meteorological Spring occurred earlier in the month on March 1.

Good Friday is March 30 while both Easter and April Fool’s Day are on April 1.

Happy Spring Everybody!