An Irish Tradition
On March 17, Irish folks and beer drinkers alike will take to the traditions of the holiday, celebrating the missionary, St. Patrick, who was responsible for converting the people of Ireland to Christianity. Born in Britain in 385 AD, St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16 years old. He later escaped, and became a priest. In 1737, the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States was held in Boston. More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States—New York City and Boston are home to the biggest celebrations. According to the U.S. Census, 32.7 million residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2015—more than seven times the population of Ireland, which is 4.6 million. Source: www.history.com
St. Patrick’s Day Facts
•In Chicago, the Plumbers Local 110 union dyes river green. The dye lasts for around five hours.
•Saint Patrick didn’t wear green. His color was “Saint Patrick’s blue.” The color green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century.
•Saint Patrick used the shamrock as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was first introducing Christianity to Ireland.
•Saint Patrick is credited for driving snakes out of Ireland, although Ireland has never been home to snakes as it was too cold during the Ice Age. The surrounding seas have kept snakes out since.
•Saint Patrick was born “Maewyn Succat” and later changed his name to “Patricius” after becoming a priest. Source: www.worldstrides.com
The Business of Beer
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with pints of green beer and a locally made dish of corned beef and cabbage is expected, and it’s big business for pubs worldwide. In America, $4.4 billion is spent on the holiday and 13 million pints of Guinness is expected to be consumed around the world. Green beer is a popular choice—usually with green food dye to change the golden color of beer. Here are some natural solutions to turning your beer green.
1) Add 1 Tbsp. fresh or powdered wheat grass juice to 16 oz. and stir. Wheat grass contains essential vitamins and minerals, which may help alleviate a hangover.
2) Spirulina powder, a blue-green algae, can be added to your beer, although it may taste similar to sea weed.
3) Matcha green tea powder is not only a great source of antioxidants, it’s also a great way to green up your beer. Add 1 teaspoon in the bottom of your beer glass and whisk until dissolved. Fill glass with beer.
Did you know?
Corned beef is an Irish-American tradition that began in the early 1900s. There is no corn in the corned beef. The term “corned” comes from the treatment of the meat with large grained rock salt, also called “corns” of salt.
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