The Webbin' o' the Green

SAN FRANCISCO (03/17/2000) - Here's a trendy way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year: Hang out in an Irish pub dressed as Regis Philbin (who, come to think of it, looks like a leprechaun), drink green beer, and ask multiple-choice trivia questions about Irish history.

You can come up with the questions by visiting www.saint-patrick.com, one of dozens of sites dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland and the festivities surrounding the annual March 17 celebrations. With its emphasis on history and facts, the St. Patrick's Day site is a great place to bone up on Irish lore.

For instance, did you know that St. Patrick, the man who converted Ireland to Christianity in 432, was actually born in England or Scotland and studied to be a priest in France?

Some other sites to check out before, during, or after the wearin' o' the green:

Yahoo Inc. has compiled a handy collection of Irish and St. Patrick's Day-related links, conveniently arranged in categories such as news or food and drink.

Virtual Ireland is an all-Ireland, all-the-time, one-stop shop. It features news stories ranging from updates on the Northern Ireland peace process to a report on Sean "Puffy" Combs' trip to Dublin. The site also offers travel, business, and entertainment stories, genealogy resources, and a must for St.

Paddy's: a recipe for corned beef and cabbage.

IrishFood.com features such intriguing recipes as Cheesy Fish Toss (a salad with smoked and white fish, lettuce, cheese, and green dressing), Dublin Lawyer (lobster with butter, cream, and Irish whiskey), and Black Pudding (don't ask).

For the more traditional, the site has recipes for Irish soda bread, Irish stew, and apple fritters.

According to the Irish Pub Guides "there are no strangers" in an Irish pub, "only friends who have yet to meet." The elegantly designed site helps you locate a wee drinking spot on the Emerald Isle as well as in other countries, though the listing for the U.S. is under construction. New Yorkers can find a pub in their neighborhood at The Definitive Guide to the Irish Pubs of New York City.

At Lucky Leprechaun's Lane you can take part in an old Irish tradition: kissing the Blarney Stone. Actually, you'll smooch a picture of something that vaguely resembles granite on your computer screen, but it's the thought that counts.

Several sites offer St. Patrick's Day greeting cards. Yahoo Greetings has 24 fairly routine but enjoyable e-cards, the least tasteful of which features a flatulent elderly couple quaffing green beer. Blue Mountain Arts has a wide selection, nicely categorized, of interactive, animated, and voice-attachment cards.

Looking for some seasonal fun for the wee ones? Point them to About.com's Kid's Exchange guide to St. Patrick's Day arts, crafts, and games. Here, youngsters can learn how to build their own leprechaun ladders, take the "green quiz," and bake a batch of Blarney Stone Kissed Cookies.

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