I find St. Patrick’s day to be rather inane, and did not expect it to matter when I went abroad,only to discover students and professors alike wondering why I did not celebrate it. So Here are a few.
1. St. Patrick was not, in fact, Irish.
As a matter of fact, he was a Romano-Briton who had been captured by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. It was not until he escaped years later, entered the church, and returned to civilize his captors’ culture that Patrick spent any time willingly in Ireland. And to say that he was Romano-British, yes, that’s right- not only was he not a Celt, he was certainly of the people who first invaded (the Romans) and were driven out by the Celts, and might even have shared some blood with the next group, who willingly slaughtered everyone who wouldn’t stay behind a wall (the Anglo Saxons). And yet the Irish- as well as the Irish-Americans and whoever else wants to- identify him as their own, while picking fights about OIrish-born Protestants v. Catholics. Go figure.
2. Nobody celebrates Leif Erikson Day.
This was used as a joking retort this week by a colleague of mine, yet I think he has a point. Nobody celebrates William the Conqueror Day, either, and the Battle of Hastings had, arguably, at least as much influence on the making of the modern world, and the modern British Isles, as the Christianizing of Ireland. Possibly more.
(For those keeping track, William the Conqueror Day is 14 October, and this year, I’m making it A Thing. Officially. It is happening.)
3. Green Looks Really Good on Almost No One.
Seriously- at least, almost no one not of Irish descent. See, I firmly believe in the concept of dressing to match your eye colour. Hair can be dyed and skin can be tanned- your eyes will always match the same thing. Green looks best with green eyes, though it also looks good with hazel or brown eyes. It looks horrible on blue-eyed people like myself, and even grey eyes, to my mind, are closer to the blue spectrum. I cannot speak for black or violet eyes, because I have known so few people with those types. However they, like brown, also look good in blue.
And yes, this is a silly reason based entirely on my own eyes, but this list is clearly not what you might call scientific.
4. Excessive Drinking is No Real Cause for Celebration.
Yes, I am aware that my feelings are not the norm in most cultures, but even if you like to drink, being drunk- or anything else which causes dizziness, poor vision, and tummy pain- is not a cause to celebrate, so why is celebration a cause to get drunk? This logic may not work on you, and that is fine, I merely think there are too many drinking holidays on the planet’s current calendar.
5. I Feel Bad For The Other Saints.
There are over 2000 saints currently, and in many European countries they still celebrate the name days of many of the more popular ones. The majority of these saints are lost in the shuffle of time, which I find sad. Sure, St. Patrick did a lot of great things for Ireland and caused some miracles to happen, but what about St. Francis and his birds and animals; or St. Thomas Becket, who was killed during a church service for refusing to back down on his ideas; or St. Margaret, who refused to marry and give up her faith; or St. Catherine, killed on an element of torture now remembered as a firework, of all things? Maybe none, or maybe all, of these saints existed in some form or another, but few people besides church nerds like myself pay them any mind.
While you spend the rest of the day recovering from your “Irish” celebrations, some things to consider.