Sunday, 17 March 2013

The legendary Saint Patrick

Reading: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Listening to: "Velvet Elvis" by Alex Winston
Outside: The rain. It pours.

AD 461 was a big year. March 17th, AD 461, was the day that Saint Patrick died. But the Irish, being unstoppable optimists, turned a negative into a positive, and focused on the (rather uplifting) possibilities of his afterlife, and the wake.

Bring on your green, your shamrocks, and your booze!

According to Wikipedia (and the sources inherent within it), Saint Patrick's Day is an Irish religious and cultural feast day: "...and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption."

And he's like, "Y'all be good now."

As a child, I knew nothing of the religious and cultural revolution that Saint Patrick's death spurred on. I just knew this: I loved the 17th of March. If it landed on a school day it meant you had to, had to wear green, or suffer the consequences: you were pinched repeatedly. Surely health and safety laws for children have changed since then.

Despite the errant pinch even if I was wearing green, it was the only day of the year that, between the ages of say, twelve and sixteen (I was a late bloomer), I could wear my ultra-stylish British racing green turtleneck that didn't go with anything at all. I rocked the green, with jeans and mis-matched lime green socks. I looked like an underrripe banana. An underripe banana wearing jeans.

Behold! The shamrock.

And so, today, the devout Irish attend church services. And college students everywhere (mainly in the United States), drink beer and jump into rivers dyed green. The patron saint of Ireland - surely the most popular of all the patron saints of the United Kingdom - if he could be here to see it, would be emotional.

Yay for Saint Patrick!

Whatever you do, green or not, have fun, and drink responsibily.

(I promise I will do my best.)

Happy Sunday (and Saint Patrick's Day), all!

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