Monday, December 6, 2010

Celebrating Repeal Day

What is Repeal Day?  Although someone told me recently that my blog has too much history and not enough salacious gossip, Repeal Day is worth mentioning.  I have been promoting this holiday for several years now.  There are not a lot of drinking holidays here in the United States, so here's one we can add.  Every year I make it a point to acknowledge the 21st Amendment's repeal of Prohibition.  This year, I found someone else who shares my passion and equally advocates a National Drinking Holiday.  He goes a step further and gives a back story:

Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day (March 17th), a national religious holiday in Ireland, is a feast day that commemorates Saint Patrick, the most recognized of the patron saints of Ireland.  It was originally a Catholic holiday but became a feast day in the 17th century. The Irish Society of Boston organized what was not only the first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies on March 18, 1737.  It was brought to the United States by Irish immigrants and is now celebrated by Irish and non-Irish alike.  Today, cities with large Irish populations host massive celebrations with parades, where scores of drunken fraternities swallow huge amounts of Guinness Stout, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Bailey's Irish Cream, and Mickey's Malt Liquor. Sometimes corned beef is eaten.

Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the the victory of Mexican troops over the French occupational army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.  It has been adopted as a commercialized drinking holiday by the United States, where people flock to chain Mexican restaurants to gulp down huge quantities blended margaritas, shots of Jose Cuervo tequila and bottles of Corona beer. Chips and salsa are served.

Halloween (October 31st) began as a Celtic Pagan festival, named as the evening (e'en) before All Hallow's Day on November 1st.  Halloween wasn't widely celebrated in the United States until the middle of the 20th century, and is now the sixth most profitable holiday for retailers.  It is celebrated by this country's drinking-age population in the form of dressing up in very slutty costumes and consuming large amounts of alcohol. Any kind.

Repeal Day is not widely celebrated in the U.S., yet its importance cannot be overstated.  It commemorates the anniversary of the day the United States repealed the 18th Amendment and gave Americans the constitutional ability to consume alcohol.  On December 5, 1933 Utah became the final State needed to ratify the 21st Amendment, which thus restored our sanity the American right to have a celebratory drink.  FYI, prohibition began on January 16, 1919 with passage of the 18th Amendment.

So why should we celebrate with a National Drinking Holiday?  First of all, Americans are always bitching about their "rights."  Well, here's your chance to exercise your rights. We have the constitutional right to drink. It's unpatriotic NOT to drink on this day.  Second, Repeal Day doesn't exclude.  Are you an American, or are you located in the United States? Congratulations, you're invited!  Being French on Cinco de Mayo is about as cool as being British on the Fourth of July.  But December Fifth is a day that's open to anyone!  Finally, it's easy!  There are no stupid outfits to buy, costumes to rent, or rivers to dye green.  Simply celebrate the day by stopping by your local bar, tavern, saloon, winery, distillery, or brewhouse to have a drink.  Pick up a six-pack on your way home from work.  Split a bottle of wine with a loved one.  Buy a shot for a stranger.  Just do it because you can.

While I recognize that Repeal Day was a Sunday this year, I spent the evening drinking wine on the beach.  What did you, dearly committed reader, do to celebrate this magical day?  Leave your celebration stories in the comments below!

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