6 Drinking Holidays We Should be Celebrating In Addition to St. Patrick’s Day

Every March, Americans and partiers around the world “become” Irish in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. On March 17th we are all Irish, the same way we are all Mexican on Cinco DeMayo, German during Octoberfest, and a Ninja Turtle on Halloween. Everyone knows St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate all things Irish including Guinness, Harp, and several other proud Irish liquors. But aside from liver damage, what is the holiday really about? Well, it was originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick who served as a missionary to Irish pagans. That got spruced up into honoring all Irish culture and tradition, until it got to ‘Merica where we focused just on the drinking part.

My only problem with St. Patrick’s Day is that it comes only once a year, leaving a 364 day gap in my culturally based drinking schedule. That’s why I’ve decided to compile a list of other cultural holidays we should be drinking on!

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St. Patrick loved green beer.

Bermuda Day

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Country / Culture of Origin: Bermuda

What Are We Really Drinking About?

The island of Bermuda is mainly known around the world for two things: its triangle and its stylish shorts worn exclusively by lady-killers. Beginning in 1902, Bermuda Day was originally called “Empire Day” and was used to teach Bermudans how to “become proper citizens of The British Empire.” That was until the Bermuda Riots of 1977 resulting from the execution of two freedom fighters who assassinated the British colonial governor.  Don’t worry, though; the current Bermuda Day sounds a lot more tourist friendly! To celebrate the first day that Bermudans go out to sea and are also allowed to wear Bermuda shorts as business attire they have “Bermuda Day!”  There is a parade and a road race into the city of Hamilton on Bermuda. The day is celebrated on May 24th or the weekend nearest the 24th -which is already a win, St. Patrick’s Day is on a Monday this year!

‘Merican Version: Bermuda Day partiers will dress up in Bermuda shorts, and get incredibly hammered on the island’s famous Bermuda Rum Swizzles. Next, honorary Bermudans will make their way to the most violent, crime ridden part of the city and run around in a triangle formation until they are lost. This way it will be like getting lost in The Bermuda Triangle; they might die and no one will ever see them again!  But at least they will be soaked in delicious rum drink. “Merica!

Kanamara Matsuri: “Festival of The Steel Phallus”

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Country / Culture of Origin: Japan

What Are We Really Drinking About?

Celebrated the first Sunday in April, this holiday translates to “Festival of the Steel Phallus” and is held around the Kanayama shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. Prostitutes pray to the shrine for protection from sexually transmitted diseases, which is what happens when you have socialized medicine. While “steel phallus” may make it sound like an event devoted to sex robots, this is actually the one day on the Japanese calendar not devoted to that. Instead, it’s dedicated to the legend of a sharp toothed demon that hid inside the vagina of a young woman and castrated two men on their wedding nights. To get revenge the woman had a blacksmith make a steel penis to break the demon’s teeth. For more on “Vagina dentata” (vagina teeth) I recommend the movie “Teeth” – it will have you sitting cross-legged for weeks. Today the celebration resembles a bachelorette party gone extremely wild featuring penis illustrations, penis candy, penis carved vegetables, penis decorations and get this– actual human men with penises. 

‘Merican Version: Doing Sake Bombs, men will parade in the streets while wearing steel dong covers on their way to America’s shrine to the phallus: a titty bar. While high fiving each other over how awesome having a metal wiener is, guys will try very hard to make sure that their steel phalluses never touch. After all, we wouldn’t want things to get weird.  Then, after a few more shots of rice wine, celebrants will place their steel manhood in the ornate men’s room “holiday hole,” thus reenacting the revenge on the demon. Nothing else is happening here. “Merica! 

El Colacho

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Country / Culture of Origin: Spain

What Are We Really Drinking About?

Instead of a traditional baptism by water, Catholics in the town of Castrillo de Murcia in Spain do it their own way. The good people round up all the babies born in the past year to cleanse them of original sin and to guard against evil spirits by having “El Colacho”- a man dressed as the devil, jumps over babies that are laid out on a mattress in the middle of a parade route.  The tradition having begun in 1620, no infant injuries have been reported in modern times. However with the obvious safety issues, The Pope has pressured local Spanish clergy to distance the church from the practice.  Party pope- er! Sorry.

‘Merican Version: Local celebrations will suffice for those who don’t want to make a pilgrimage to Sin City, Las Vegas where throngs of people will dress up as El Colacho while slamming Sangria. Once nicely sloshed, everyone will get in monster trucks to jump over force fed baby veal in a ceremony to bring prosperity. “Merica!


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Country / Culture of Origin: Russia

What Are We Really Drinking About?

To let off some steam at the end of winter and the week before Lent (When observant Christians must give something up) in early March Russians celebrate by eating pancakes, performing bear shows, clown shows and  burning “Lady Maslenitsa” a large woman made of straw as a goodbye to the winter. Oh and most importantly they beat the crap out of each other in fist fights as a sign of respect. It’s like Burning Man meets Fight Club during Mardi Gras. It seems really strange this hasn’t caught on here.

‘Merican Version: Just like we focus on drinking for St. Patrick’s Day, for Maslenitsa we will cut to the chase and get to the drinking and pancake eating. A long parade will make its way through town as revelers drink shots of vodka and eat pancakes. The parade will stop in the center of town where a massive tower of pancakes has been erected in front of the local homeless shelter. The needy will be invited to watch as the tower of delicious pancakes are lit on fire, reminding them that if they want any pancakes, they had better work for it. “Merica!

Monkey Buffet Festival

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Country / Culture of Origin: Thailand

What Are We Really Drinking About?

When you hear the phrase “monkey buffet” what comes to mind?  An all-you-can-eat buffet of monkey meat? No? Good! You’ve passed the Monkey Test of True Friendship! It’s actually a festival in Lopburi, Thailand AKA “Monkey City” honoring the monkeys, not eating them. Known for its large population of long-tailed monkeys that live around ancient ruins and temples, the celebration is to give thanks to the monkeys that bring tourism to the area. In the last week of November at the Khmer temple, buffet tables with thousands of pounds of fruit, vegetables, cake, candy, and sodas are put out for the monkeys who presumably then leave with diabetes.

‘Merican Version: Since we don’t have a lot of monkeys on hand, we will celebrate the honor of the animal we love most: cats. Along a parade route cat ladies will lay out balls of yarn, bowls of milk, fish and their dignity for cats to enjoy. Onlookers will get hammered on Singha beer while sharing cat videos, an activity Americans currently call “Saturday.” Cows and chickens will be forced to watch the parade so they can witness how we honor our cute animals, before we slit their un-cute throats and turn them into cat food for the cherished felines to enjoy. “Merica!

Beer Day

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Country / Culture of Origin: Iceland

What Are We Really Drinking About?

Not everyone enjoys the booze-fueled holidays. In fact, alcohol prohibition in Iceland lasted from 1915 until 1935, and that was only for spirits. Beer wasn’t legal until March 1st, 1989. To commemorate the end of the beer ban, Icelanders celebrate Beer Day with a pub crawl and keep their bars open until 4 a.m.. Nothing like sticking it to the teetotalers with a day where everyone gets blind drunk, going from bar-to-bar into the middle of the night.

‘Merican Version: Beer Day is the best drinking holiday because it knows what it is and has beer right there in title. To celebrate, grab a “Viking” beer and stumble from bar-to-bar like they are about to make it illegal! Prohibition in America was notable for the badass booze selling gangsters it created like Al Capone. In order to make this the most American of holidays, celebrants will wear trench coats, brandish Tommy Guns, drink moonshine and cavort with “fast” women. After a long day of drinking, drunken unprotected sex and tax evasion,  Beer Day will end when everyone has contracted syphilis and are on a slow decent into dementia. “Merica!

Follow Phil Haney @PhilHaney