Happy Irish American Month! While we’re at it, Happy Music in Our Schools Month, National Nutrition Month, National Women’s History Month, Red Cross Month, and Social Workers Month!
March, of course, is best known for St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 (also National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day, which makes sense), but two days later, on the 19th, it’s Spring (Vernal) Equinox, or the first day of spring! And that means the last day of winter, too!
March also marks the start of Daylight Savings Time, which begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 8. So remember to spring forward that Saturday night before you go to bed!
But why the 17th? And why a three-leaf clover and wearing green on that day?
The first is easy: March 17 is the death date of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who converted the pagan Irish to Christianity. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish pagans.
The reason we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day is a little more complicated and goes back to the 1600s, but what it comes down to, is the shamrock is green, Ireland is called “The Emerald Isle,” the Irish flag is green, white and orange, and a complicated tale from the 11th century that involves snakes, a snakebite and a green mark on the snakebite (I told you it was complicated!).
The odd thing is that St. Patrick was first associated with the color blue and leprechauns, who are all green these days, were originally said to wear red and gold jackets with pointy red hats!
There is another St. Patrick’s Day custom that isn’t as well known, which is the custom of “drowning the shamrock” or “wetting the shamrock.” While celebrating the day, a shamrock is put into the bottom of a glass or cup and then filled with whiskey, beer or cider. The drinker then makes a toast to St. Patrick, to Ireland or to the people who are present. The shamrock at the bottom would then either be swallowed with the drink or taken out and tossed over the shoulder for good luck!
Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival.
A couple of other reasons to celebrate in March include March 3, Caregiver Appreciation Day (but also If Pets Had Thumbs Day, which is just dumb); March 8, International (Working) Women’s Day; March 14, National Pi Day (3-14 or pi) and National Potato Chip Day (although March 23 is National Chip and Dip Day!); March 15, Ides of March (Google it!); March 22, National Goof Off Day (my kind of day!); March 30, Take a Walk in the Park Day; and the only dog day of the month: March 23, National Puppy Day. Something must be done about that!
Well, gotta run, I have my work cut out for me because March 10 is International Find a Pay Phone Booth Day. First, I have to ask Mom what a pay phone booth is (you pay for your phones there, like a Verizon store?) and second, where the heck are they!?