Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Paddy's Day

Photo by Jennifer E. Miller

St. Paddy's Day
Jennifer E. Miller

Happy St. Paddy's Day! St. Patrick's Day is my second favorite holiday after Halloween. I don't have an exact reason. I'm not Irish; or if I am I'm unaware. Simply put, I like the "fun-ness" of this holiday: parades, leprechauns, shamrocks, and pot o' gold at rainbows' ends.

Halloween has been getting a bad rap lately because it's falsely viewed as Satanic or Pagan. While it's modern secular celebration does include gory death, underworld icons, and witchcraft, it's historical significance is a precursor to All Saint's Day on November 1st. Children dress up as someone/thing other than themselves to confuse the evil spirits and keep the Saints, and other wholesome souls, from falling prey to malevolent apparitions. The costumes don't need to be scary; a princess, crayon, or animal will do. It's too bad the origins of Halloween have become lost with society's obsession with gore and death. To me, it's never been a day to worship the devil or evil; it's a day to keep it away.

Unfortunately, I've heard people dis St. Patrick's Day, too. It's an excuse for people to get drunk. Some feel forced to wear green when they don't want to (hint: then don't!). I've even heard of people say since that this day should hold no importance if one isn't Irish. The amount of negativity floating around is depressing.

Being festive on this day is enjoyable. I don't care if I'm Italian, rather than Irish; St. Patrick's Day is fun. Green isn't my color, but one day out of the year I can wear it without worrying how it tarnishes my complexion. Shamrock decor sprouts in various nooks and crannies. The leprechaun leaves chocolate coins at our house, presumable scattered from a pot o' gold. 

The pot o' gold got me thinking why my Italian self likes the Irish-dominated St. Patrick's Day. Take a look at the flags of Ireland (left) and Italy (right).

Flag of Ireland.svg      Flag of Italy.svg
Public Domain,
The flags are strikingly similar. Three stripes containing the same order of colors, lest the ones on the far right. The red stripe of Italy is a primary color. Ireland surely liked the flag so much they needed to put their own spin on it. In order to make the orange for their flag, yellow must be added to the red. Gold is yellow-ish. Gold from a pot o' gold. This proves the likeness of Italians and Irish. There, that must be why I like St. Patrick's Day. It's Italian at heart. 

And not to be forgotten: St. Patrick himself was Italian.

Enough with the logic talk. We can all be a little Irish today. 

Copyright 2017 Jennifer E. Miller


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