Tuesday, March 16, 2010
St. Patrick's Eve
I do like to wear green, people say it suits me.
I am blogging about st Patty's day on the eve of the event since I will be out tomorrow night celebrating it! I believe some wise old lady once told me that St Patrick was the patron saint of bloggers who needed a day of. This sounds very true to me so of course I will honor the practice... OK, made that one up!
Most of Europe does not really celebrate this day, well yeah, that is because it is an Irish Holiday. But since it is celebrated to a certain degree in America and since Americans seem to love Irish pubs, and since I live in a town that houses a lot of American Navy we just happen to have three Irish pubs in the surrounding area! Paddys, O'Gradys and Molly Malones. Last year we celebrated in O'Gradys, here are some pics of that crazy fun night:
Green beer, silly hats, shots of Jameson, drunk people attempting the Irish jig... Aaaah, can it get much better? And the fact that it is now in the middle of the week just makes it that more badass to celebrate!
I am not Irish one bit (my husband is a mutt and one of his many parts is Irish), but my favorite thing about it is for me the sign of spring. St Patrick's day is definitely a promise of sunnier days to come and that is worth celebrating! Actually the shamrock was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring.
This year we are going to celebrate at Molly Malones, they better have a good party because O'Gradys last year is going to be hard to beat, but it sure looks promising;
As the big history geek I am here is some St Patty's info for you:
Little is known of Patrick's early life, though we know he was born in Roman Britain in the fifth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon in the Church, like his father before him. At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. He was told by God in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast, where he would board a ship and return to Britain. In 432, he again says that he was called back to Ireland, though as a bishop, to save the Irish, and indeed he was successful at this, focusing on converting royalty and aristocracy as well as the poor.
Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) to the Irish people. It has long been recounted that, during his mission in Ireland, St. Patrick once stood on a hilltop and with only a wooden staff by his side, banished all the snakes from Ireland. In fact, the island was never home to any snakes. The "banishing of the snakes" was really a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. After nearly thirty years of teaching and spreading God's word he died on 17 March, 461 AD.
It is believed that Saint Patrick's Day has been celebrated in Ireland since before the 1600s. It was also believed to have served as a one-day break during Lent, the forty day period of fasting. This would involve drinking alcohol; something which became a tradition. Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
In 1903, Saint Patrick's Day became an official public holiday in Ireland. Writing in The Word magazine's March 2007 issue, Fr. Vincent Twomey stated that, "it is time to reclaim St Patrick's Day as a church festival". He questioned the need for "mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry" and concluded that, "it is time to bring the piety and the fun together". (Info gathered from wikipedia)
Yeah... I don't see that happening!