Mythbusters irelanD: Du-what, du-blin
1) Saint Patrick is the guy that drove away the snakes in Ireland
False. Far be it from me to limit what a saint can/cannot do, but it’s most likely that there never were any snakes in Ireland. It’s actually believed that this myth was an allegory for driving out pagan ideology. Don’t be like the young gentlemen in my class senior year who were convinced St. Patrick’s day was celebrated solely based on this fact…it’s not. Don’t perpetuate the lies!
2) The leap year proposal (a woman can propose on this day) is real!
False. Ladies, this is the twenty first century. We should’ve moved past this by now. However, legend has it that St. Brigid was talking to none-other than St. Pat about how women were complaining that their suitors were too shy to ask for their hand in marriage (men, am I right?). After Brigid’s pleading, he granted women the right to propose on leap year, and (listen up ladies) if a man refused he had to soften his rejection with a gift. However, this is all a myth, but it sure makes a great story.
3) Redheads are rampant in Ireland
True. Ireland is actually right behind Scotland in leading the world’s largest proportion of redheads. I mean, I don’t know if I would call 10% of the population rampant, but I have seen many more redheads in Ireland than I have anywhere else (Chicago or Dubuque).
4) Corned beef and cabbage is a common meal
Haha, nope. I friggin wish. It was actually more of an Irish-American tradition. You see, beef used to be a luxury in Ireland, so when Irish men immigrated here and saw the beef was plentiful (and cheap) they began to eat it a lot. Probably. There’s actually some dispute about how this myth came about, and this is the most likely answer.