Open Thread: St. Patrick's Day

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Happy day-after-St. Patrick's Day!

I have a weird relationship with St. Patrick's Day.

On the one hand, I grew up believing myself and my family to be Irish.  (That may still be true - we haven't traced all paths back yet - but to be fair, the only one we have traced back turns out to be Welsh instead.  Still, I identify a lot with my "Irish heritage," whether or not it actually exists.)  I love Celtic myth and Celtic art; a day where I have an excuse to listen to Irish music and drink Irish whiskey and wear my Boondock Saints shirt is absolutely wonderful in my book.

On the other hand, I'm also Pagan.  And St. Patrick, assuming he actually existed at all, was no friend to Irish Pagans.  In most explanations I've heard for the story, the "snakes" he drove out of Ireland were actually the Druids.  He doesn't really seem like someone I'd want to celebrate, even if the trappings surrounding his day are pretty fun.  (I've actually read suggestions for similarly-fun celebrations Pagans could do on the same day, so we don't lose a cool holiday - my favorite was the Bacchanalia.)

On the other-other hand, I have a kid now, and the last thing I want to be is that mom who says "You can't celebrate this fun thing, because it's against our religion."  I had too many friends as a kid who had to deal with that sort of thing, and it always struck me as doing religion wrong.

...But on the other-other-OTHER hand (...wait, how many hands do I have now??), all the St. Patrick's Day celebrations and live music performances in our area are at bars.  So I don't think I really get any Good Mom Points for bringing my child to them, even if they are cultural.

Open Thread!  Did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?  If so, how; if not, why not?  Do you have any holidays you feel like you probably shouldn't celebrate (but do anyway)?  What aspect of your ancestry do you most often choose to identify with (and do you think that would change if it turned out you didn't actually have any ancestors from there?)  Do you have any new and interesting facts about St. Patrick that can redeem him somewhat from a Pagan point of view?  (And not just casting doubt on his actual existence; heck, half of this whole blog is about discussing fictional characters.  If Paddy is fictional, I still think it's worth discussing whether or not he's worth celebrating!)

~ Kristycat

Monday Reminder!  While I have fun coming up with pretty pictures and/or interesting “prompt” questions for open threads, you aren’t limited to those!  These threads are open - go wild, talk about whatever moves you!  (Just remember that this is still a safe space, please!)


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