ST. PATRICK’S DAY
Celebrate an “Irish True” St. Patrick’s Day
Tim Herlihy, Tullamore D.E.W., Irish Whiskey Expert
As far as whiskey experts go, they don’t come more Irish True than Tullamore D.E.W. Brand Ambassador Tim Herlihy. From his humble beginnings in the small farming town of Termonfeckin in Ireland’s County Louth, to his work as the North American representative for one of Ireland’s most beloved and storied products, Tim’s life and career have been marked by the kind of passion, warmth and love of whiskey that typifies the Irish True character. His current role as Tullamore D.E.W. Brand Ambassador sees him bringing his career to a new level, as he travels the country, educating, entertaining and sharing his passion for the most Irish True of Whiskeys.
Myths and legends about St. Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick started the tradition of drinking on St. Patrick’s Day
False. St. Patrick’s Day is a Christian feast day, marked by celebration, to commemorate martyrs on the dates of their deaths.
Irish whiskey got involved in this celebration from an old legend. So the story goes, an innkeeper served Saint Patrick a skimpy glass of whiskey and Saint Patrick decided to use the occasion to teach the innkeeper a lesson in generosity. He is said to have told the man a monstrous devil lived in his cellar that was feeding on his dishonesty and would only leave if the innkeeper changed his ways. On his return some time later, he found the innkeeper filling all the patrons’ glasses until they overflowed. Saint Patrick is said to have banished the demon and proclaimed everyone should have a drop of the hard stuff on his feast day, March 17. Fact or fiction, it’s a fine tale to tell your friends and makes Irish whiskey the most authentic drink to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day.
The color of St. Patrick’s Day is green
False. The color associated with Saint Patrick was blue, not green. The importance of green can be attributed to Saint Patrick using the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. The green shamrock was also used from the 18th century as a symbol of Irish rebellion, patriotism and sympathy with Irish independence. In Ireland, whether you wear green or blue on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s the Irish True spirit that matters. Put simply, that means embracing the present and living life, facing its challenges with a courageous and lyrical heart, and a drop of the pure good stuff with friends you really want to drink with … but without the novelty hat!
Leprechauns are a traditional symbol of St. Patrick’s Day
False. In 1959, Walt Disney released a film called ‘Darby O’Gill & the Little People,’ which introduced America to a cheerful, friendly leprechaun, very different from the cranky little man of Irish folklore. But Disney’s imagined version stuck, and the leprechaun is now a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland in general.
Ways to celebrate an “Irish True” St. Patrick’s Day
There’s something in the Irish character that puts others at ease – welcoming you on the one hand, while challenging you on the other, agreeing with you but questioning you at the same time. We call it ‘Irish True’. You don’t have to be Irish or go to Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a way that is ‘Irish True’. Here are some easy and authentic ideas to honor the man.
Take the day off
Start by taking the day off to celebrate with your friends and family. Even the tiny Caribbean Island of Montserrat celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in honor of the proud mutineers of Irish slaves who fought a failed rebellion against their colonial masters on 17 March 1768. Ever since, in true Irish spirit, St. Patrick’s Day has been a public holiday on Montserrat – the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean. There are only two countries in the world where St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday: Ireland and Montserrat.
‘Have the craic’
Craic pronounced ‘Crack’ is a Gaelic word, with no exact English translation. Put simply, having the craic is having a good time or a laugh. You don’t have to participate in a St. Patrick’s Day parade to enjoy the craic. One way is to visit your favorite bar, screaming with character and soul, to share great memories.
Share a Toast
Saint Patrick and his monks began complementing oral storytelling with writing. This tradition now remains in the blood of the Irish and many practice storytelling and other verbal arts in pubs. Toasting is a big part of Irish culture, it should speak from the heart and is meant to be shared with those most important to you.