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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 03/16/14

Sunday, March 16, 2014

ST. PATRICK'S DAY!





   One of the greatest Irish festivals, St. Patrick's Day or Paddy's Day commemorates the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. A festive day for the Irish people, St. Patrick's Day is a festive public holiday the Republic of Ireland and also celebrated with much enthusiasm in places such as Canada, Great Britain, Australia, the United States and New Zealand. Sumptuous feasts, green clothes, frothy delights, joyous merrymaking with friends and family - all are parts of this grand occassion.

History

   St Patrick is known as the patron saint of Ireland. True, he was not a born Irish. But he has become an integral part of the Irish heritage, mostly through his service across Ireland of the 5th century.
      Patrick was born in the later half of the 4th century AD. There are differing views about the exact year and place of his birth. According to one school of opinion, he was born about 390 A.D., while the other school says it is about 373 AD. Again, his birth place is said to be in either Scotland or Roman England. His real name was probably Maewyn Succat. Though Patricius was his Romanicized name, he was later came to be familiar as Patrick.
      Patrick was the son of Calpurnius, a Roman-British army officer. He was growing up as naturally as other kids in Britain. However, one day a band of pirates landed in south Wales and kidnapped this boy along with many others. Then they sold him into slavery in Ireland. The was there for 6 years, mostly imprisoned. This was when changes came to him. He dreamed of having seen God. Legend says, he was then dictated by God to escape with a getaway ship.







      Finally, he did escape and went to Britain. And then to France. There he joined a monastery and studied under St. Germain, the bishop of Auxerre. He spent around 12 years in training. And when he became a bishop he dreamed that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to tell them about God. The Confessio, Patrick's spiritual autobiography, is the most important document regarding this. It tells of a dream after his return to Britain, in which one Victoricus delivered him a letter headed "The Voice of the Irish."
      So he set out for Ireland with the Pope's blessings. There he converted the Gaelic Irish, who were then mostly Pagans, to Christianity. He was confident in the Lord, he journeyed far and wide, baptizing and confirming with untiring zeal. And, in a diplomatic fashion he brought gifts to a kinglet here and a lawgiver there,but accepted none from any.
      Indeed, Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. Through active preaching, he made important converts even among the royal families. And this fact upset the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested several times,but escaped each time. For 20 years he had traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion. He developed a native clergy, fostered the growth of monasticism, established dioceses, and held church councils.
      Patrick's doctrine is considered orthodox and has been interpreted as anti-Pelagian. Although he is not particularly noted as a man of learning, a few of his writings remain extant: his Confession, a reply to his detractors, and several letters. The Lorica ("Breastplate"), a famous hymn attributed to Patrick, may date to a later period. By the end of the 7th century Patrick had become a legendary figure, and the legends have continued to grow since then. There are many legends associated with St Patrick. It is said that he used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity; which refers to the combination of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Hence its strong association with his day and name Legend also has that, Saint Patrick had put the curse of God on venomous snakes in Ireland. And he drove all the snakes into the sea where they drowned.

      True, these are mostly legends. But, after some 1500 years, these legends have been inseparably combined with the facts. And together they have helped us know much about the Saint and the spirit behind celebration of the day. Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted for over 20 years. He died on March 17, AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. The day's spirit is to celebrate the universal baptization of Ireland. Though originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into more of a secular holiday. Or, rather, 'be an Irish Day '. And the Irish has borne it as part of their national tradition in everywhere they populated and prospered. The Catholic feast day for this most loved of Irish saints has become a holiday in celebration of the Irish and Irish culture. The leprechaun, a Celtic fairy, has become entrenched as a chief symbol for this holiday, as is the shamrock, an ancient symbol for the triple goddess Brigit. It is fitting that this holiday should fall at the time of the year when the return of spring begins to seem at hand. But why the icons like the green color, the tri-leafed shamrock, the leprechaun, or the pot of gold and Blarney's stone- all came to be associated with the celebration of this Day? And what do they all mean?

History of Shamrock, Leprechaun, and the Blarney's Stone

    In written English, the first reference to the Shamrock dates from 1571, andin written Irish, as seamrog, from 1707. As a badge to be worn on the lapel on the Saint's feast day, it is referred to for the first time as late as 1681. The Shamrock was used as an emblem by the Irish Volunteers in the era of Grattan's Parliament in the 1770's, before '98 and The Act of Union. So rebellious did the wearing of the Shamrock eventually appear, that in Queen
    Victoria's time Irish regiments were forbidden to display it. At that time it became the custom for civilians to wear a little paper cross colored red and green.
      As a symbol of Ireland it has long been integrated into the symbol of the United Kingdom, along with the Rose, the Thistle and the Leek of England, Scotland and Wales. So today, on St. Patrick's.








THE MAGIC SHAMROCK
    Three is Ireland's magic number. Hence the Shamrock. Crone, Mother and Virgin. Love, Valour and Wit.. Faith, Hope and Charity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Numbers played an important role in Celtic symbolism. Three was the most sacred and magical number. It multiplies to nine, which is sacred to Brigit. Three may have signified totality: past, present and future OR behind, before and here OR sky, earth and underworld. Everything good in Ireland comes in threes. The rhythm of story telling in the Irish tradition is based on threefold repetition. This achieves both intensification and exaggeration. Even today in quality pub talk, a raconteur can rarely resist a third adjective, especially if it means stretching a point. "Three accomplishments well regarded in Ireland: a clever verse, music on the harp, the art of shaving faces."





THE LEPRECHAUN


   The Leprechaun is an Irish fairy. He looks like a small, old man (about 2 feet tall), often dressed like a shoemaker, with a cocked hat and a leather apron. According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly, live alone, and pass the time making shoes. They also possess a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal the whereabouts of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor's eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.



In Ireland

   St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in towns and cities right across the globe, but it's probably fair to say that nowhere can the festivities match the excitement and atmosphere of St. Patrick's Day in Ireland.
   In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is more of a religious holiday similar to Christmas and Easter. Many Irish people start the day by going to mass and offering prayers for the Saint and missionaries all over the world. After that people flock to their local village or town to see the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade – and this is where the real celebrations begin! With grand parades, community feasts, charity show, the mass, St Patrick's Day is celebrated in Ireland with great gusto. The parades, shamrocks, and green beer are provided primarily for tourists. In fact, it has turned out to be one of the most celebrated events in Ireland and a major tourist attraction.





St. Patrick's Day in Belfast Ireland


   Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by the Irish people and increasingly by many of non-Irish descent (usually in Australia, North America, and Ireland), hence the phrase, "Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day." Celebrations are generally themed around all things green and Irish; both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green or orange, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink (usually Guinness), and attending parades.
   Saint Patrick's Day parades in Ireland date from the late 19th century, originating in the growing sense of Irish nationalism. The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five-day festival; over 500,000 people attended the 2006 parade. With bands, music, dance, shamrock, leprechauns, green coloured clothing and loads of power packed performance, the Irish parade on Saint Patrick's Day is a sight to behold!
   Almost everything in Ireland is closed on Saint Patrick's Day with the exception of pubs and restaurants. Many Irish people wear a bunch of shamrocks ("three-leaf clover") on their lapels or caps on this day or green, white, and orange badges (after the colors of the Irish flag). Girls and boys wear green in their hair. Artists draw shamrock designs on people's cheeks as a cultural sign, including American tourists.
   The biggest celebrations on the island of Ireland outside Dublin are in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, where Saint Patrick was buried following his death on 17 March, 461. In 2004, according to Down District Council, the week-long St. Patrick's Festival had over 2000 participants and 82 floats, bands, and performers, and was watched by over 30,000 people.






   The day is celebrated by the Church of Ireland as a Christian festival. Saint Patrick's Day as a celebration of Irish culture was rarely acknowledged by Northern Irish loyalists, who consider it a festival of the Irish Republicans. The Belfast City Council recently agreed to give public funds to its parade for the first time; previously the parade was funded privately. The Belfast parade is based on equality and only the flag of St. Patrick is supposed to be used as a symbol of the day to prevent it being seen as a time which is exclusively for Republicans and Nationalists. This allowed both Unionists and Nationalists to celebrate the day together. The Unionists (orangemen) wear orange instead of green on St. Patrick's Day; both colors are in the Irish flag (although this the Irish flag is not an official flag in Northern Ireland, it being part of the United Kingdom), and orange often but not always represents the Protestants of Northern Ireland.




Outside Ireland


In the United Kingdom

   The largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in the UK is held in Birmingham over a two mile route through the city centre. The organisers describe it as the third biggest parade in the world after Dublin and New York. Other Saint Patrick's Day parades take place around the country including in London where the largest minority community is Irish. The Lanarkshire town of Coatbridge where the majority of the town's population are of Irish descent also has a day of celebration and parades in the town centre. In Birmingham, St. Patrick's Festival is one of the city's premier community events, with the Irish community numbering around 140,000 people.
United Kingdom   Manchester hosts a two week Irish festival in the weeks prior to St Patrick's Day, not surprising giving that the city claims the largest Irish population in Great Britain outside of London. The festival includes an Irish Market based at the city's town hall which flies the Irish tricolor opposite the Union Flag, a large parade (claiming to be the biggest outside of Dublin and New York based on entrant and float numbers) as well as a large number of cultural and learning events throughout the two-week period. The festival promotes itself as the largest in the UK.

Florence, Italy

Italy   Around St. Patrick's Day, the city hosts 'Festa Irlandese' - ten days of live music, food and drink. The event takes place in a huge tent and attracts thousands of visitors who avidly consume the Italian interpretation of Irish food and drink, including potato soup, beef in Guinness, smoked salmon and gallons of stout.

Oslo, Norway

Norway   The Irish community in Oslo celebrates with a lively parade through the city. Nearly a thousand people join in the fun as the parade steps off through shopping streets, past Oslo cathedral, on to Town Hall Square for some entertainment. Accompanying the pipe band are St Patrick, driven by a red-bearded chauffer in a horse and cart, and a host of other colorful Irish characters.

In Germany

Germany   Munich is the only German city holding a St. Patrick's Day parade owing to the considerably large Irish community. The parade is organized by the German-Irish Society of Bavaria and has been held every year since 1996. Meanwhile it has evolved into the largest in continental Europe and features not only Irish/Scots/English, but also German clubs and societies. Following the 2 km-parade, which usually takes place the Sunday preceding 17 March, is an open air party with live music and dance performances.

In Denmark

Denmark   The St. Patricks Day 3 Legged Charity Race started in Copenhagen in 2001. The race is organized by the Irish expert community and is sponsored by the Carlsberg brewery and the Irish pub owners of Copenhagen. In 2007, the event raised 26,000 DKK (~3,500 euro). All proceeds were donated to a Danish charity for children with cancer. All proceeds from the 2008 race will be donated to the Neonatal Department at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen.

In Montserrat

Montserrat   The tiny island of Montserrat, known as "Emerald Island of the Caribbean" due to its foundation by Irish refugees from Saint Kitts and Nevis, is the only place in the world apart from the Republic of Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador in which St Patrick's Day is a public holiday. The holiday commemorates a failed slave uprising that occurred on 17 March 1798.

In Russia

   On March 15, 1992, thousands of Muscovites lined the Novy Arbat to witness the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in the Russian capital's history. Yuri Luzhkov - now the current Mayor of Moscow - and Aer Rianta Chief Executive Derek Keogh were on the reviewing stand as a police escort led the way for Russian marching bands, Cossack horsemen, and fifteen floats representing many Russian companies. The parade, which was the brainchild of Derek Keogh, was a big success, and ensured a repeat performance the following year.
Russia  Each year the floats have become more numerous and sophisticated and the range of international and Russian participants and sponsors more wide-ranging such as Pepsi and Guinness. The local Irish bars of Moscow contribute their own floats and Muscovites reveal their own homegrown Irish Wolfhounds, which are nearly as big as the floats themselves.
   The Moscow parade continued to be an annual event until 1998. The economic collapse of August 1998 meant that the 1999 parade was canceled. In 2000 the St Patrick's Society of Russia managed to re-establish the St Patrick's Day parade with the co-operation of the Moscow city government, the Moscow police, various government bodies, the Irish embassy and the Irish community in Moscow.

In South Korea

South Korea   In Seoul, members of the expatriate community congregate on Daehakro (Taehongno), and a small parade goes up the street and then down again. Parade members include local expat sports teams, the Irish Community, and several Korean marching bands. In 2007, the Marronier park near Daehakro was filled with partygoers sampling Irish Stew and Guinness.

Tokyo, Japan   The tradition of holding parades is also upheld in Tokyo and every year you can watch and participate in the parade on Omote Sando. The Tokyo parade is organized by the Irish Network Japan (INJ) and was first held in 1992 with the support of the then Irish Ambassador to Japan, Mr. James Sharkey. Various dignitaries from many countries participate in the parade including the deputy prime minister of Ireland Mary Hearney in 2001.
Japan   About 2,000 participants march down fashionable Omotesando Avenue, lined for the occasion by Irish and Japanese flags, cheered on by as many as 7,000 spectators. The Japanese love a good party and they are particularly fond of all things Irish - including Guinness at about $7.00 a pint! There are a growing number of Irish pubs that send attractive young ladies to the parade for the sole purpose of handing out free beer vouchers. Not surprisingly, the 'voucher girls' are a parade highlight!

In the United States

   The early Irish immigrants like the English, Dutch, German, French and the likes, brought their traditions in United States. But it was not until 1737 that the immigrants really celebrated the Day. Irish colonists brought Saint Patrick's Day to what is now the United States of America. United StatesDuring the first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in the 13 colonies, which took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737, The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organized what was the first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies on 17 March 1737. The first celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756, and New York's first Saint Patrick's Day Parade was held on 17 March 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British Army. Held since 1762, the New York City parade on St Patrick's Day now draws more than one million spectators each year. In 1780, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March. This event became known as The St. Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780. Today, Saint Patrick's Day is widely celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike.
   In the US, Americans celebrate the holiday by wearing green clothing. Many people, regardless of ethnic background, wear green-colored clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched. Alcohol is the center of many American celebrations.
   Some cities paint the traffic stripe of their parade routes green. Chicago even dyes its river green. Savannah dyes its downtown city fountains green. Indianapolis dyes its Central Canal green. University of Missouri Rolla - St. Pat's Board Alumni paint 12 city blocks Kelly green with mops before the annual parade.
   Although the baseball season is still in the spring training phase when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, some teams celebrate by wearing St. Patrick's Day themed uniforms. The Cincinnati Reds were the first team to ever wear St. Patrick's Day hats in 1978. The Boston Red Sox were the second team to start wearing St. Patrick's Day hats in 1990. In 2004 the Red Sox were the first team to wear jerseys specially designed for St. Patrick's day. Since then it has become a tradition of many sports teams to also wear special uniforms to celebrate the holiday. The Los Angeles Dodgers also have a history with the Irish-American community. With the O'Malley family owning the team and now Frank McCourt, the Dodgers have had team celebrations or worn green jerseys on St. Patrick's Day. Other teams celebrate by wearing Kelly green hats these teams include: the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago White Sox, the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres, the Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, the Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals. Nearly all major league baseball teams now produce St. Patrick's day merchandise, including Kelly green hats, jerseys, and t-shirts.
   In the United States, many people have also made the holiday a celebration of the color green. These people, besides wearing green on that day, may also stage dinner parties featuring all green foods. An example of such a menu would be chicken with rice and lima beans with sliced green maraschino cherries in coconut sauce colored with green food coloring, a green salad including greens, avocados and sliced green apples, split pea soup, green tinted bread spiced with sage, Lime Jell-O, iced limeade and/or a green-beer, and lime pudding, key lime pie, or lime sherbet for dessert. Corned beef and cabbage is the most common meal eaten in the United States for St. Patrick's Day, even though historically, corned beef and cabbage is an American (rather than a traditionally Irish) meal.
   Perhaps the smallest notable parade, World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade is said to take place in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the United States. Annually held on the historic Bridge Street the parade became famous in the 1940s when Ripley’s Believe It or Not designated it “The Shortest Street in the World.”
   But Boulder, Colorado claims to have the shortest parade, which is also less than a single city block.

In Canada

   In Canada, Saint Patrick's Day is an official holiday only in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Some groups, notably Guinness, have lobbied to make Saint Patrick's Day a federal (national) holiday.
   The longest-running Saint Patrick's Day parade in Canada occurs each year in Montreal, Québec. The parades have been held in continuity since 1824; however, St. Patrick's Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France.
   The Toronto St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of the largest in North America. Since it began in 1988, the parade has grown to include 100 organizations, 32 Irish county associations, 2,000 marchers, 30 floats, 14 bands as well as an assortment of wolfhounds, leprechauns and talking shamrocks.
   In the Province of Manitoba, the Irish Association of Manitoba runs an annual three day festival of music and culture based around St Patrick's Day.

In Philadelphia

Philadelphia    The Philadelphia St. Patrick's Parade is the 2nd oldest Parade in the Country, topped only by the New York City Parade. The first documented St. Patrick's Day Celebration Parade in Philadelphia was held in 1771, marking over 230 continuous years of celebrations.


In Savannah, Georgia

   Savannah, GA, boasts the unofficial record of having the largest attendance in its St. Patrick's Day parade with the crowd count being declared as a staggering 750,000 in 2006. Unlike other cities, the parade in Savannah takes place on the actual day of Saint Patrick's Day; even if that day is during the work week. However for 2008, the parade will take place on Friday, March 14th, to honor Holy week in the Catholic faith. The parade starts at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Cathedral on Abercorn Street. GeorgiaThe actual parade route changes from year to year but usually travels through Savannah's Historic Park District and Bay Street. Usual participants in the parade include the local Armed Forces Units, Cadets from Benedictine Military School, and other local organizations, officials, and establishments. In 2006, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland was featured in the parade. Since the parade travels through Savannah's Historic Park District, one tradition that has developed has been the official "dyeing of the fountains" which happens several days before the parade. It has also become tradition for women spectators to kiss the Armed Forces Units and other military organization's male members.
    The parade is not Savannah's only St. Patrick's day attraction. The Savannah Waterfront Association has an annual celebration on Historic River Street that is reminiscent of Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street. There is no cover charge to access River Street, but a $5 wristband is required if one chooses to drink there. Savannah does not have an open container law so there is a proliferation of alcohol on River Street, Bay Street and in City Market.

In Mexico

Mexico   On these day, and on September 12, the Saint Patrick's Battalion (Batallón de San Patricio) is memorialized. It fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848, and was composed of several hundred Irish, Germans, Swiss, Scots and other Roman Catholics of European descent.
   Although it's not a popular holiday in Mexico, sometimes school children hit, punch or slap anyone who is not wearing green in their clothes.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana   New Orleans has a parade that is strongly influenced by Mardi Gras. Unlike most parades, where the participants staidly walk the parade route - with, perhaps, an occasional display of Irish dancing, the parade at New Orleans features floats, jazz bands  and colorful costumed characters, with float riders throwing spectators strings of beads, cabbages, and potatoes.

Syracuse, New York

New York   The city of Syracuse, NY has a parade that culminates with the delivery of green beer to Coleman's Irish Pub in the Tipperary Hill section of the city and the painting of a shamrock in front of the pub. Tipperary Hill is home to the World famous "Green-on-Top" Traffic Light. It is the Irish section in Syracuse Historically. Syracuse boasts the largest St. Patrick's day celebration per-capita in the United States.

New York City

   The New York parade has become the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in the world. In 2006 more than 150,000 marchers participated in it, including bands, firefighters, military and police groups, county associations, emigrant societies, and social and cultural clubs, and it was watched by close to 2 million spectators lining the streets. New York CityThe parade marches up 5th Avenue in Manhattan and is always led by the U.S. 69th Infantry Regiment. It is the only New York City parade in which the marchers head uptown instead of downtown. New York politicians - or those running for office - are always found prominently marching in the parade. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch once proclaimed himself "Ed O'Koch" for the day,[16] and he continues to don an Irish sweater and march every year, even though he is no longer in office. In a similar fashion, new New York state governor Eliot Spitzer marched in and even visited the morning Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral for the 2007 parade.
   The parade is organized and run by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.[citation needed] For many years, the St. Patrick's Day Parade was the primary public function of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. On occasion the order has appointed controversial Irish republican figures (some of whom were barred from the U.S.) to be its Grand Marshal.
   While it is a popular misconception that the St. Patrick's Day Parade bans 'lesbians and gays', the fact is that essentially all politically motivated groups, including pro-life groups, are banned from the Parade in an effort to keep politics out of a festive community celebration. Gays and lesbians are welcome to be in the Parade as members of any of the groups allowed.
   The New York parade is moved to the previous Saturday (16 March) in years where 17 March is a Sunday. The event is also moved on the rare occasions when, due to Easter falling on a very early date, 17 March would land in Holy Week. This same scenario is scheduled to arise again in 2008, when Easter will also fall on 23 March. In many other American cities (such as San Francisco), the parade is always held on  the Sunday before 17 March, regardless of the liturgical calendar.

Seattle, Washington

   Seattle celebrates St Patrick's Day in grand style, with a full week of activities. Festivities kick off with the proclamation of Irish Week. Seattle, WashingtonDue to Seattle's northern state climates, like Ireland, the city received many Irish immigrants. So many that Seattle and Galway are sister cities. Every year on St. Patrick's Day, there's a mini-parade to prepare the parade route with the ceremonial painting of a green stripe down the center of 4th Avenue. The day of the parade begins with a Catholic Mass for peace. The Seattle Parade starts at 4th Avenue and Jefferson to the Reviewing Stand at Westlake Park, ending officially at the Seattle Center. The annual Irish Week Festival is enormous, including Irish step dancing, food, historical and modern exhibitions, and Irish lessons. This is all celebrated on March 14. And may be carried on till the 15, 16, and 17 of March.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada   The Southern Nevada, (formerly Las Vegas) Sons of Erin has put on a parade since 1966. It was formerly held on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, later moved to 4th street. Since 2005, the parade has been held in downtown Henderson. It is one of the biggest parades in the state of Nevada. It also consists of a three day festival, carnival and classic car show in Old Town Henderson.

In Argentina

   In Argentina, and specially in Buenos Aires, all-night long parties are celebrated in designated streets, since the weather is comfortably warm in March. People dance and drink only beer throughout the night, until seven or eight in the morning, and although the tradition of mocking those who do not does not exist, most people would wear something green. In Buenos Aires, the party is held in downtown street Reconquista, where there are several Celtic bars ; in 2006, there were 50,000 people in this street and the pubs nearby.
    Despite all these varieties, the festivities all over the world are driven by the same spirit. And why not? After all, everybody is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. While it reminds us about St Patrick, the day is also a celebration for being Irish and enjoying everything Irish. So make an attempt to have the real fun of being Irish. Adorn yourself in green clothing, pin the shamrocks, hunt for the leprechaun (well, not really), cook and feast the Irish way, laugh away all worries with Irish jokes and dance to the tunes of the Irish bands. Top o' the morning to ye!


CARNAVAL DE ORURO FROM BOLIVIA!!




    The Carnaval de Oruro (or Carnival of Oruro), is the biggest annual cultural event in Bolivia.
    Celebrated in Oruro, the folklore capital of Bolivia, the carnival marks the Ito festival for the Uru people. Its ceremonies stem from Andean customs, the ancient invocations centering around Pachamama (Mother Earth, transformed into the Virgin Mary due to Christian syncretism) and Tio Supay (Uncle God of the Mountains, transformed into the Devil). The native Ito ceremonies were stopped in the 17th century by the Spanish, who were ruling the territory of upper Peru at the time. However, the Uru continued to observe the festival in the form of a Catholic ritual on Candlemas, in the first week of each February. Christian icons were used to conceal portrayals of Andean gods, and the Christian saints represented other Andean minor divinities. The ceremony begins 40 days before Easter.










    Legend also has it that in 1789, a mural of the Virgin Mary miraculously appeared in a mineshaft of the richest silver mine in Oruro. Ever since, the Carnival has been observed in honor of the Virgen de la Candelaria (Virgin of the Candle Mass) or Virgen del Socavon (Virgin of the Mineshaft). The most important elements of the Carnival now occur in and around the Sanctuaria del Socavon (The Church of the Mineshaft).









    The carnival starts with a ceremony dedicated to the Virgen del Socavon. Marching bands, compete simultaneously in the grotto of Pie de Gallo on Sunday, which is the greeting to the Virgin. The highlight of the Carnival is conducted over three days and nights, with 50 groups parading through the city over a route of 4 kilometers. The groups represent various indigenous dance forms, and are accompanied by several bands. Over 28,000 dancers and 10,000 musicians participate in the procession that lasts over 20 hours. The dances include Caporales, Diablada, Kantus, Kullawada, Llamerada, Morenada, Potolo, Pujllay, Suri Sikuris, Tinku, Tobas, Waca Waca and La Diablada (Dance of the devils). These demonic dancers are dressed in extravagant garb. The design and creation of Diablada costumes has become an art form in Oruro, and several Diablada clubs, consisting of members from all levels of Oruro society, are sponsored by local businesses. There are anywhere from 40 to 300 dancing participants, whose costumes may cost several hundreds of dollars each.










    The main event kicks off on Saturday before Ash Wednesday, with the spectacular entrada (entrance procession), led by the brightly costumed San Miguel character. Behind him, dancing and marching, come the famous devils and a host of bears and condors. The chief devil, Lucifer, wears the most extravagant costume, complete with a velvet cape and an ornate mask. Faithfully at his side are two other devils, including Supay, an Andean god of evil that inhabits the hills and mineshafts. The procession is followed by other dance groups, vehicles adorned with jewels, coins and silverware (in commemorating of the achura rites, in which the Inca offered their treasures to Inti, the sun, in the festival of Inti Raymi, and the miners offer the year's highest quality mineral to El Tio, the demonic character who is owner of all underground minerals and precious metals. Behind them, follows the Inca characters and a group of conquistador's, including Franciso Pizarro and Diego de Almagro.










    When the devils and the archangel arrive at the soccer stadium, they engage in a series of dances that tell the story of the ultimate battle between good and evil. After it becomes apparent that good has triumphed over evil, the dancers retire to the Santuario de la Virgen del Socavon at dawn on Sunday, and a mass is held in honor of the Virgin, who pronounces that good has prevailed.









    There's another, less spectacular entrada on Sunday afternoon, and more dance displays on Monday. The next day, Shrove Tuesday, is marked by family reunions and cha'lla libations, in which alcohol is sprinkled over worldly goods to invoke a blessing. The next day people make their way into the surrounding countryside where 4 rock formations, the Toad, the Viper, the Condor and the Lizard, are also subjected to cha'lla as an offering to Pachamama. Plenty of the spirit is sprinkled down the revelers' throats as well.
    Oruro's Carnival has become Bolivia's most renowned and largest annual celebrations. It's a great time to visit, when this somewhat unfashionable mining city becomes the focus of the nation's attention. In a broad sense, these festivities can be called re-enactments. The festival is so interlaced with threads of both Christian and indigenous myths, fables, deities and traditions that it would be inaccurate to oversimplify it in this way.









    Ceremonies begin several weeks before Carnaval Oruro itself, with a solemn pledge of loyalty to the Virgin in the sanctuary. From this date on, there are various candelite processions and dance groups practice boisterously in the city's streets.

SWEETS FOR COFFEE LOVERS, PART I!

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Pops Recipe

A frozen-pop version of the classic iced coffee



Vietnamese Coffee Ice Pops


Difficulty: Easy | Total Time:Makes:About 6 (4-ounce) ice pops
Like classic Vietnamese iced coffee, this frozen pop contains strong brewed coffee and sweetened condensed milk. It’s a caffeinated treat that’s not recommended for the kiddies!

Special equipment: You will need freezer pop molds for this recipe. We used these molds, but any kind will work. If yours don’t come with sticks that attach securely, you can buy wooden sticks and insert them about 1 1/2 hours into the freezing time.
This recipe was featured as part of our 7 Ice Pops That Break the Mold.
INGREDIENTS
  • 3/4 cup strong French roast coffee grounds, such as Café Du Monde, Cafe’de Paris, or Trung Nguyen
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream


INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Brew the coffee with the measured water. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of brewed coffee.
  2. Place the hot coffee and condensed milk in a measuring cup or a large heatproof bowl with a spout and whisk until evenly combined. Whisk in the cream, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  3. Whisk the mixture again and divide among the pop molds. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.



This dense, trufflelike cake is made with Irish whiskey and served with whiskey-flavored whipped cream.



Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 2 hrs 10 mins | Active Time:Makes:12 servings
Dense and trufflelike in texture, this festive cake has a hint of whiskey that follows on the heels of the chocolate flavor. The fluthered cream (fluthered is Irish slang for drunk) doubles the boozy kick. For an over-the-top Irish experience, enjoy with an Irish Coffee.
This dish was featured as part of our St. Patty’s Day Recipes photo gallery.
INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Irish whiskey
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

For the fluthered cream:

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
For the cake:
  1. Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a 12-cup Bundt pan with all of the melted butter; set aside.
  2. Place the unsweetened chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to break up any lumps and aerate; set aside. Combine the sour cream, whiskey, and coffee in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, stopping the mixer and scraping down the bowl and paddle after each addition. Add the melted chocolate and beat until just combined, about 30 seconds. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate between adding the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake until the top of the cake is puffed and cracked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 to 65 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Flip the cake out of the pan and serve warm or at room temperature.
For the fluthered cream:
  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 minute. Serve slices of cake topped with fluthered cream.


If the Dude wanted a shake, he’d totally abide by this one.






Difficulty: Easy | Total Time:Makes:1 shake
If the Dude wanted a shake, he’d totally abide by this one.
This recipe was featured as part of our story on Boozy Cocktail Milk Shakes.
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 (14-ounce) container vanilla ice cream
  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder


INSTRUCTIONS
Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Pulse 8 to 10 times or until mostly smooth. Pour into a chilled glass and serve on a rug that really ties the room together while listening to some Creedence.
An easy chocolate cookie crust filled with coffee ice cream and topped with chocolate ganache and whipped cream.





Difficulty: Medium | Total Time:Makes:1 (9-inch) pie (8 to 10 servings)
Mud pie—not to be confused with Mississippi mud pie, which is a chocolate pie—needs only a chocolate cookie crust, coffee ice cream, and fudge sauce, according to its creator, Joanna Droeger. Here we’ve stayed true to the original with an intense espresso gelato and chocolate ganache, but added a little sweetened whipped cream on top. This easy-to-make pie can be assembled in advance for parties. Note: Unless you want your kids jumping off the walls, we recommend not serving this caffeinated treat to the little ones.
Game plan: Make sure you have enough room in your freezer before you begin. You’ll need a flat area at least 10 by 10 inches to accommodate the pie comfortably.
To slice the frozen pie, warm a sharp knife in hot water for about 30 seconds, then use a kitchen or paper towel to dry the knife. Slice the pie while the knife is still warm, pushing the knife down into the pie and slowly removing it. Clean the knife off and repeat warming, drying, slicing, and cleaning with each cut. If the pie is still too frozen to easily slice, let it sit for another 5 minutes.
This recipe was featured as part of our Make Your Own Ice Cream Treats project.
INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • 30 chocolate cookie wafers, such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled

For the ganache:

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

To assemble:

To serve:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS
For the crust:
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place cookies in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until the pieces are about the size of peas. Stop the motor, add the melted butter, and continue to process until the crumbs are fine, about the size of coarsely ground coffee (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Alternatively, place the cookies in a resealable plastic bag, press out the air, and seal. Using a rolling pin, smash into fine crumbs until uniform. Transfer to a medium bowl, add melted butter, and mix until evenly combined.
  3. Pour crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and, using the bottom of a cup or your fingers, press firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake until fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
For the ganache:
  1. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside.
  2. Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let stand until chocolate has softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add butter and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly before using.
To assemble:
  1. Place gelato in the refrigerator until slightly softened, about 30 minutes. Place cookie crust in the freezer until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  2. Remove softened gelato from the container and transfer to a large bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until it is spreadable but not liquidy. Working quickly, spread the softened gelato into the crust in an even layer (leaving any melted gelato in the bowl). If the gelato in the pie looks like it’s melting, place the pie in the freezer until solid before proceeding.
  3. Pour the warm ganache over the gelato and tilt the pie plate to evenly coat. Immediately transfer the pie to a flat surface in the freezer until completely frozen, at least 3 hours.
To serve:
  1. Let the pie sit at room temperature until the ganache just begins to soften, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks have formed (they should droop over like soft-serve ice cream), about 3 minutes; serve atop pie slices. If not serving immediately, tightly wrap the frozen pie in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 1 week.


A San Francisco classic made with simply coffee, sugar, Irish whiskey, and cream.






Total Time: Under 5 mins | Active Time:Makes:1 drink
           
The original Irish coffee was a concoction of a bit of whiskey, a generous splash of black coffee, a dollop of whipped cream, and a smattering of genius. Pedigrees for most drinks are dubious at best, but the Irish coffee is well documented. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Stanton Delaplane was served one at Ireland’s Shannon Airport bar in 1952; after returning to San Francisco, he passed the recipe on to barman Jack Koeppler at the Buena Vista and soon to the rest of the country. The story behind this immensely popular beverage is that Irish bartender Joe Sheridan created the rejuvenating brew during World War II to greet weary Yankee travelers arriving by seaplane in the wee hours of the morning. Interestingly, the Irish drank whiskey in tea, but Sheridan apparently knew the American palate and had the wherewithal to substitute coffee.
The best Irish coffee should be treated no differently than the naked brew. Use high-quality, freshly ground and brewed beans, and always whip your heavy cream without sugar right before serving.
This recipe was featured as part of our Hot Boozy Drinks photo gallery.
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 ounces freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Dollop of freshly whipped cream

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine the coffee, whiskey, and sugar in a hot Irish coffee mug; then float whipped cream on top.
Variations:
Italian coffee: Substitute amaretto for the whiskey.
Jamaican coffee: Substitute dark rum for the whiskey.
Mexican coffee: Substitute Kahlúa for the whiskey.



Flavored with milk chocolate, coffee liqueur, and cinnamon.



Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 3 hrs 40 mins, plus freezing time | Active Time:Makes:8 servings (6 cups)
This ice cream refuses to be classified—it tastes at once like rich gelato and icy sorbet. Milk chocolate flavors eggy custard for a doubly rich ice cream that then gets spiked with canela and coffee-flavored tequila liqueur.
What to buy: Canela can be found in gourmet groceries, at Latin markets, or online. If you have trouble finding it, you can substitute regular cinnamon.
Patrón XO Café is a coffee-flavored tequila liqueur from the makers of Patrón tequila. If you can’t find it, go ahead and substitute another coffee-flavored liqueur such as Kahlúa.
Game plan: The ice cream base (unfrozen ice cream) can be made up to 2 days in advance, though it needs 3 to 4 hours to harden in the freezer after it’s been processed (unless, of course, you want soft-serve). Ice cream will keep in the freezer for 1 week.
This recipe was featured as part of our Chocolate Desserts photo gallery.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (4-inch) canela stick
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 1/3 cup Patrón XO Café (or other coffee-flavored liqueur)

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside.
  2. Combine milk, cream, half of the sugar, and canela in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow. Once milk mixture is hot, slowly pour half of milk mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour milk and egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until it is as viscous as melted ice cream and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. (When you draw your finger across the spoon, it should make a mark through the custard.)
  4. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and whisk until chocolate is melted and custard is smooth. Whisk in coffee liqueur. Strain into a large heatproof bowl and place ice cream base over ice water bath to chill, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Once ice cream base is cold, cover and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 3 hours or overnight. Once chilled, freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions



Two kinds of ice cream float shots: chocolate ice cream drowned in Kahlúa, and vanilla in limoncello.







Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 5 mins | Active Time:Makes:24 servings
Affogato, Italian for “drown,” is a description normally reserved for ice cream doused in espresso. Here we take that same principle and swap out the espresso for alcohol to create an adult version of ice cream floats where the variations are endless—try butter pecan with amaretto or chocolate chip with Chambord. Serve them in small glasses, demitasses, cordial glasses, or shot glasses.
Game plan: To avoid scooping ice cream while your guests are there, use this catering trick: Scoop the ice cream onto a small, parchment-lined baking sheet, then place in the freezer until it’s time to assemble the affogato.
Try toasting the nuts for a few minutes before adding them to the shots.
INGREDIENTS

For the chocolate shots:

  • 3 cups chocolate ice cream
  • 3/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur, such as Kahlúa
  • 24 whole hazelnuts

For the vanilla shots:

  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 3/4 cup lemon-flavored liqueur, such as Caravella Limoncello
  • 24 whole macadamia nuts

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place a small scoop of ice cream in each glass. Top with 1 tablespoon liqueur and 2 nuts. Serve immediately.



Intensely flavored with both ground whole espresso beans and instant espresso powder.







Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling and churning time | Makes:1 quart
Those critical of weak coffee ice cream—our senior food editor, Jill Santopietro, is one of them—will appreciate this gelato flavored with bits of finely ground espresso beans and a dose of espresso powder. It will have you wired in no time. For a caffeinated double-chocolate dessert, try it in an Espresso Mud Pie.
Game plan: The unfrozen gelato base can be made up to 2 days in advance, but it needs 3 to 4 hours to harden in the freezer after it’s been processed.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon very finely ground espresso beans
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine 2 cups of the milk and the cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally (so a skin doesn’t form), until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk mixture, whisking continuously so that the hot mixture doesn’t scramble the eggs. Return the custard to the saucepan.
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat the spoon. (When you draw your finger across the spoon, it should make a mark through the mixture, which should not run back in on itself.) Do not bring to a boil.
  5. Pour the mixture through the fine-mesh strainer and into the prepared bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. (To cool the base quickly, make an ice water bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and placing the bowl of the espresso base in it; stir the base until cooled.) Cover and refrigerate the base until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup milk and 3 tablespoons of the ground espresso beans in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside to steep for 20 minutes. Pour the milk mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl, pressing on the solids to extract all the liquid; discard the solids. Add the instant espresso powder and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes.
  7. Gently whisk the milk-espresso mixture into the gelato base, then whisk in the remaining 1 teaspoon ground espresso beans. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving. The gelato will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week.