I definitely did not realize that today was St. Patrick’s Day. I eventually heard something about St. Patrick’s Day on the radio this afternoon, and when I went downtown today to get my race kit for this Sunday, there were people EVERYWHERE with shamrock hats and green clothing and drunkenness. “Pagans,” I thought. I went to my favourite hippie store Modern Primitive to look around (and came out with the COOLEST Thai bamboo purse – which is why I don’t allow myself to go in there very often), and was followed in by a group of very drunk, loud, obnoxious girls. They were amusing, more than anything. When I got home I was like, “Christina! Did you realize it’s St. Patrick’s Day?” She looked at me. “Yeah…I thought that’s why you were wearing green?” I look down. I’m wearing a green shirt, green necklace. Good job, pagan.
She asked me if I wanted to go out and join in the festivities, but I declined, almost saying, “I don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.” Then I realized that I didn’t know why I don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Okay, besides that the dude was a Catholic priest. …I guess that’s it.
So I’ve been reading up on him tonight, and thought this was really interesting:
“Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.” —The History Channel
Religious syncretism, anyone?