“Look back, and smile on perils past.” Walter Scott
The heat in the oven like the spirit of holidays burns brightest on certain days. These holidays have cultural and social significance some of which are remember, revered and mentioned loudly from high citadels while quite a few of them are forgotten. Unless specifically mentioned none of the holidays have a particular drink to mark it.
Holidays for drinking are like the buttercups that dance by the roadside. They are numerous and lovely. St. Patrick’s Day is perhaps the most celebrated festival. It is the time for cheer and laughter and of course the cup of camaraderie. This cultural cum religious occasion falls on March 17; Lenten restrictions are bypassed for the day. People indulge in drinking wearing green dresses and attend church.
Perhaps the festival that tops in having fun and sharing the spirit of camaraderie and laughter is the Oktoberfest celebrated in Munich, Germany. It is all about beer and plenty of sausages and 16 million people from all parts of the world. Not to forget the polka, this 16-day festival has all the makings of a good time. It reflects the Bavarian culture and has eats by the cartload – potato pancakes, cheese noodles, grilled fish, red cabbage and dumplings.
One may also see people who share the laughter and merriment indulging in merry making and revelry at Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. ‘Fifth of May’ is the literal meaning in Mexican; this festival is celebrated in the US also. It is day Mexico became independent.
Fireworks, celebrations and lot of holiday cheer all round at the Fourth of July celebrations; this is one day when everyone lets loose their camaraderie with gay abandon. This day of cheer and happiness is the US Independence day. Carnivals, picnics, fireworks, baseball games, family get-togethers and parades mark this day.
Costume parades and fireworks mark the turning in the Carnival. It marks the beginning of lent for Christians though the Greeks have celebrated it much before as Dionysia and as the Saturnalia in Rome. Lenten period is a time when restrictions exist on the food that one has. It is celebrated as Mardi Gras in America.
Perhaps one day when the entire planet comes alive with fireworks and booze parties is the New Year’s Eve holiday celebration. It is a holiday for everyone and people indulge in binge drinking and bursting crackers to show their involvement in the passing of the old year. The islands of Samoa and that of Kiribati welcome the New Year first. Hawaii is the last one.
Another day when drinking comes to the fore is on Christmas day. It is a time for warmth and sharing and the best way to do that is by raising a toast with friends and family. People eat, drink, and light fireworks to mark the occasion. Christians celebrate it to mark the birth of Jesus Christ the messiah and Son of God.
People look up to Thanksgiving Day. It is the time of the year, when they give thanks for the good crops they had the previous year, and for the good times that they had. Of course, there is plenty of alcohol flowing around and this leads to plenty of accidents.
One cannot forget Easter since this is also the time, when the alcohol related casualties are the maximum. This is the time the Easter bunny brings the Easter eggs for the children and hides them for them to find. It is celebrated to mark the resurrection of Christ and Christians find their celebrations sometimes driving them wild.
Of course, if you love your drink, you do not need an occasion, only a partner or a glass.