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Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day in Japan

Kiss Me I'm Irish...

To be honest, with St. Patrick's Day being celebrated on March 17, I took a wild stab in the dark that there might actually be something going on in Japan. Something official... and not just a gathering of drunk gaijin (foreigners) at the local bar.

But a real St. Patrick's Day celebration in Japan?

Sure... why not? Any excuse to drink, right?

If you are in Nagoya - Japan's fourth largest city by population - check out the 8th Annual St. Patrick's Day Festival in Osu Kannon, a Budhist temple for the Owari Thirty-three Kannon of the Shingon sect in central part of the city.

Yes... that is an official poster for the fun up above.

The fun starts (officially) at 12:15PM with live music, with what Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife can only assume will be a wobbly parade beginning at 2PM from in front of the temple.

That's not a lot of time for drinking, so be sure to start early and often!

There is also some evening activities for you thirsty buggers, as there is an official after-parade party to be held at Shooters Bar and Grill.

Shooters Bar and Grill? It makes one wonder just where in the green hills of Japan I actually am. Green hills of Japan? Ye wouldn't be drunk now, boyo?

Anyhow... you obviously don't have to be Irish, or even a foreigner - it's a day of drinking and having fun... unless you are a Protestant, but I'm just guessing you'd probably rather wear orange than green ye heathen bastards.

I'm kidding of course. But when drinking, it is always a good rule to keep religion and politics out of any conversation.

And should you wish, more information might be found at I said 'might'.

So... come one and come all. You can be Irish or Irishi, but just have fun. And wear some Kelly Green! Olive green is NOT an acceptable substitute! Okay... maybe people cared about the shade of green once, but not anymore... don't worry about the shade of green - at least ye tried ye blind sodomite.

Now some of you might actually be asking just who is this St. Patrick dude and how did he become synonymous with heavy drinking, feeling up redheads (my favorite part of the whole day), and puking your lungs out over into the Protestant part of town.

Here's some background on the wee bastard.

Patricius was born in 387 AD when the Romans were conquering the British Isles. That's why he has the cool Roman name! Now... depending on who you believe, Patricius was born in either Scotland or Wales - not Ireland!

His pa and his pa's pa were priests in the Christian church - so our boy Paddy had a head start... and yet, despite his holy-holy family, he was, at the age of 16, kidnapped by Irish pirates.

I know... Irish pirates in the 4th century do not sound as fierce as the vikings, but who knows?

Patricius prayed to god for help - and received a message from god that should he try to flee, he would find a boat on shore waiting for him.

A boat on the shore? What were the odds? Anyhow... thanks be to god, Patricius made it back home and studied to become a priest, and after doing so he made it his life's work to convert the heathen Irish from polytheism to Christian monotheistic faith (not including worship of the virgin Mary, of course).

In order to explain the holy trinity to the confused savages or Ireland, Patricius used the plentiful clover as an example.

"Y'see here... each one of these clover leafs is actually one entity... the faaaather, the soooon, and the fecking hooooly spirit, and like the clover's three leaves, it's still part of the single clover... three made into one."

"But Faaaather Patricius... Oive got me a four-leaf clover!"
"Yeah, me, too."
"What iffin Oi pulls off a leaf from the clover - then oive got a twooo-leaf clover - which one dies, Faaaather Patricius? Oim going ta guess the oley-spirit cause its a bloody ghostie already."
"Is the oley spirit a wailin' banshee, faaaather?"
"The oley spirit is from Wales? Feck that! Oi though everyone was from Ireland like this four-leaf clover!"
Anyhow, after about 30 years of banging his head against the Heather (I don't know if she minded), a tired Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD and was buried in Downpatrick, Ireland.

Do you think it was named that before or after Patrick was laid down?

By the 9th century AD, Ireland thought Patrick was grand and celebrated his death - or rather celebrated him converting them from their heathen ways, though it wasn't until 1600 that St. Patrick's day was added to the Church's calendar.

You'll love this part. In 1903, St. Patrick's Day became an official holiday in the Republic of Ireland. But, after that first event, the government set up a law that would close down all bars and pubs on that day (March 17) to stop the drunken rowdy behavior (but not the pinching of buttocks of the Colleen's and Heather's).

This bar ban continued until the 1970s!

No wonder so many Irish left to start a better life in other countries!

While Canada, Australia and the U.S. love to celebrate drunken rowdy behavior (and the pinching of buttock's of the Colleen's, Heather's, or anything wearing a skirt  - Scott's men beware) with parades, bar hopping (and later bar crawling), you might want to visit Argentina.

Yes, hot women and excellent soccer to be sure, but they have all-night parties in great weather that last to 8AM, when it's time for a siesta before the soccer matches start. There is always a soccer match in Argentina. 

Faith and bejabbers and the fist of God,

Andrew Joseph

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