On any given day 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the famous Irish stout brand, are consumed around the world, but on St. Patrick’s Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million pints. Guinness was first brewed in Dublin in 1759 and is the unofficial drink of St Patrick’s day.
Pubs in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick’s Day as officially it is a religious holiday, but this law was relaxed in the 1970′s and the pubs are now open.
Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.
St. Patrick’s Day is a day for eating and, yes, drinking. But did you already know these five St. Patty’s Day Food and Drink Facts?
1. His Cup Was Half Full
Whiskey made from potatoes is called Poteen, and the reason for drinking a bit of the hard stuff on March 17th comes from an old legend about Saint Pat himself. One night, an innkeeper poured a skimpy glass of whiskey for St. Patrick, who decided he would teach the miser a lesson. He told the innkeeper that there was a devil living in his basement that thrived on dishonesty. When Patrick returned to the inn he was pleased to see that his glass was filled up to the brim, just the way he liked it.
2. Bacon and Cabbage?
Bacon was originally the meat o’ choice for the holiday dinner, not corned beef. The Lenten prohibition against meat was lifted for St. Patrick’s Day and traditionally revelers would feast on cabbage and Irish bacon. Later on, Irish immigrants in New York City switched to the more economical option of corn beef an idea they picked up from their Jewish neighbors.
3. My Goodness, that’s a lot of Pints
Guinness drinkers around the world lift a whopping 13 million pints of the dark Irish stout to their lips on Saint Patrick’s Day, which is why March accounts for 10% of the company’s annual sales.
4. The Irish: They Aren’t Just Lucky
Drunken reveling is not only a modern tradition for celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. During the Seven Years War, in 1757, the French elected to attack the English (who were mostly made up of Irish recruits) on March 17, expecting that the troops would be too inebriated to defend themselves. Luckily for the English side, they had anticipated this attack and celebrated the holiday a day early.
5. Whiskey with Weimaraners
Pubs in Ireland were closed by law on St. Patrick’s day until the 1970′s, so drinking was done in the comfort of the home (or, probably, out in the streets). The only place in which alcohol could legally be served on the holiday was at the annual dog show, which, as might be imagined, became a popular event for more than just dog lovers.