Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Drunken's Day

In all of this hubbub and hullabaloo this past weekend, it is easy to forget about Saint Drunken's Day.

You don't know what Saint Drunken's Day is? Really?

I'll bet you probably celebrated it without even knowing it.

Saint Drunken's Day happens the second or third Saturday of March depending on the Holy Catholic calendar and usually corresponds coincidentally to the weekend before or the weekend after the popular Irish American festival of St. Patrick's day (which happens to be today, Erin Go Bragh, etc.) and is meant to celebrate the life of Saint Drunken.

Who is Saint Drunken, you might ask?

Saint Drunken is the patron saint of finding an arbitrary reason to drink alcohol to excess during the middle of the day.

Here's an ancient Medieval illustration of him performing his favorite activity: riding a horse while gesturing to a large phallic symbol.

A little bit of history for you: Saint Drunken reputedly lived in the 12th Century as a monk in a monastery outside of Flanders. He is also reputedly the innovator responsible for drinking his ale, brewed on location at the monastery, with a shot of whiskey.

He reportedly is the first person to urinate on a building. Quoth Saint Drunken, "I hath Christyned meself with all the holy spriryts I maye, and anon I Christyn thee, ye Bush that doth sit tidily beneath the Pryor's window, with what remaynes."*

Saint Drunken has also been attributed with the first recorded consumption of nachos as well as the invention of bacon and cheese potato skins, although that assertion has been disputed in some scholarly circles.

Unfortunately, Saint Drunken died at a relatively young age (some evidence points to between 26 and 29) when he fell over while doing quite possibly the first keg stand and snapped his neck. His first reported miracle occurred some two years after his death at the monastery's annual potluck.

"The lybations dwyndl'd unteel we wast drynk the dregs of th'barryl an indid the celybrations werst in jeopardie whyn throgh th'windew camest th' sainly visyn of Drunkyn hisself, carrion benuth hys arm an syckspax oth lym flavoured brew an' quoth he, 'Lord abuff, lessus keep th'partie goin anon!'"**

In November of 1187, Drunken was declared a Saint by Pope Gregory VIII, who also proposed the Third Crusade, with Saint Drunken's feast day assigned to March.

Traditionally on Saint Drunken's day celebrants are tasked with drinking Green Appletinis and various other vodka or tequila drinks during the middle of the day while wearing the color green as that was supposedly the color of Saint Drunken's vomit.

So next year (or really any time you're drinking in the middle of the day) be sure the raise your glass and toast Saint Drunken.

Source Material:

* From "The Chronicals of Saint Drunken," anonymous, anno domini 1156, translated from the original Flemish.

** From "The Passion of Sain' Drunken," anonymous, anno domini 1154, translated from what appears to be drunken Latin.


Chris Othic said...


We gotta do a show about history and the story of Saint Drunken must be told.

Unknown said...

Not a bad idea...

Anonymous said...

I'd LOVE to hear the dialog of said play. "I hath Christyned meself..."