Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The luck of the irish and the mad Hatters

My last post was fairly negative about Ireland so I wanted to post something positive and you can't get much more positive than St Patricks day! Coming soon on the 17th of MARCH!!!

If there is one thing that Irish people are truly proud of and patriotic about, its the colour green, and March is the month with the most important day (asides from Christmas) on the Irish Calender, St Patrick's day.

You will never meet an Irish person who doesn't love St Patrick's day, Obviously I am no different. I love the parades the atmosphere and the freedom to wear your favourite green white and orange attire and not look strange. 

Whether you go to Dublin City Centre or stay in one of the local towns you are bound to have a day full of fun. For me most years I spend it in my home town Bray and it is the only day where you see the streets completely packed and everyone standing on the side of the street watching the parade go by. Also every year we always have a carnival at the sea front, which is always an essential part of St Patrick's day. I am not much of a drinker so I rarely join in any of the drinking festivitiies at night but of course it's there.... 

But one thing I have never thought twice about was wearing the colour green it seems harmless right. Sure some shades of green are less attractive than others... but other than that why not? But today I was alarmed when one of my Chinese friends Jia Qi said to me "Oh my god I can't believe you guys wear green hats!!!!" 

Naturally I was really curious when I heard this, what is wrong with green hats? They are funny and cute and tradition.... 

Then he told me, In China nobody ever wears a green hat it's extremely unlucky... How?? If a chinese man wears a green hat it means his wife has had sex with another man! Wow talk about shooting St Patrick! 

Then tonight I wanted to test my boyfriends reaction as I thought perhaps it's only northern Chinese people who think this way.... NO!!! My boyfriend said "Why do you always learn something bad about Chinese??? Don't ever let me wear a green hat" and then he stormed off.

So I did a bit of research to find out what is the meaning of this strange unluckiness and here it is "There is an old story in China, about a businessman, a tailor, and the businessman's wife. (You can guess where this is going...) Whenever the businessman left his village to go on a business trip, his wife would cheat on him with the village tailor. To make it easier for the tailor to know when the businessman was going away, the businessman's wife asked the tailor to make a green hat for the businessman. Whenever the wife put the green hat on her husband's head, this served as a signal to the tailor that the businessman was leaving the village. Over time, the other villagers figured out what was going on, and they would say to one another...Tade laopo gei ta dai lv maozi le..."His wife has put the green hat on him."

To this day, this phrase is what Chinese people use to talk about wives having affairs. This phrase is the reason why Chinese men never wear green hats"

Looks like I put my foot in it. I know I am considerably early with this post but definitely stay tuned to see some of my St Patrick's day festivities on the 17th of March!

1 comment:

  1. Love your posts and the pictures :)

    And yeah I didn't realize the green hat thing either and I actually gave my boyfriend a green-colored hat as a gift before!

    This was when I went back to the States for the summer before returning to Taiwan. All his friends laughed and I had no idea what was going on, heehee :)

    I still keep the hat around and tease him with it every once in awhile!