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Not Everyone

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

[Ed. note: In advance of tomorrow’s “festivities, I offer this repost as a preemptive explanation]

*Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!

If you don’t know what this means, then it doesn’t really matter what “they” say; apparently NOT everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

Arriving at the salon for my Rosh Chodesh mani/pedi, it didn’t take more than a few moments to realize that everyone must have gotten the green memo. (Though supporters of the Orange Institution would be have received the orange memo.) And then, much to my horror, I realized that I too was wearing green.

Saint Patrick’s Day doesn’t really register in Frume Sarah’s World. I had selected a green blouse with nary a thought to the Feast Day for the patron SAINT of Ireland.

“Oh no!” gasped I.

Not having time to shelp home (11.4 miles. Each way.), I decided to do a Target drive-by.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.

Lighten UP, Frume Sarah. It’s not like it’s a religious holiday or anything.

Except. It kinda is. Or was, at any rate.

Patrick was born in Scotland around the year 385. As a teen, he was captured and sent to Ireland to herd sheep. (Now, that sounds familiar.) Anyway, during his six years of captivity, Patrick grew deep in his Christian faith, though he was surrounded by Druids and pagans. Upon his return to Britain, he commenced his studies for the priesthood. Inspired by a dream that had the people of Ireland calling him to return, Patrick served the Church by christianizing the polytheistic Irish. Legend teaches that Patrick used the three-leaved Shamrock as a tool in order to explain the Trinity.

In the early 1600’s, March 17, the yahrtzeit of Saint Patrick, was added to the liturgical calendar of the Church as a holy day of obligation. These days are not unlike our yom tovim.

On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.
Moreover they are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

Just as Lag B’Omer serves as a temporary cessation of the restrictions during the counting of the Omer, Saint Patrick’s Day is a brief respite during the Lenten season. Prohibitions were lifted, giving rise to the consumption of enjoying cabbage with either corned beef or bacon and alcoholic beverages during this period of abstinence.

Saint Patrick’s Day remains a sacred day on the festival calendar of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland. Regardless of what society has done over the years to secularize and commercialize this day. I recognize that I am in the minority. However, as a person of faith, I cannot condone stripping the religiosity away from a holiday that belongs to another faith community.

So, no. I am not Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day any more than a citizen of Nigeria is American on Thanksgiving or a Buddist is Jewish on Sukkot.

* Happpy Saint Patrick’s Day!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, 16 March 2011 9:26 pm

    But we’re all something crazy on Purim!!! 🙂

    (I’m with you, this one isn’t on my radar either. And I’m lucky that I just don’t own any green! I do make some delicious black-and-tan Guinness brownies, though…)

  2. Wednesday, 16 March 2011 11:06 pm

    Frume Sarah has kissed the Blarney Stone.

  3. Thursday, 17 March 2011 5:42 am


  4. Thursday, 17 March 2011 6:30 am

    I’m confused about why you were horrified to find yourself wearing green… Were you concerned others would think you were celebrating a holiday you knew you weren’t celebrating?

  5. Thursday, 17 March 2011 6:33 am

    Unless of course your blouse had an image of a leprechaun and a pot of gold on it? (Just teasing. )

  6. Thursday, 17 March 2011 8:26 am

    I’m an odd mix because I’m Jewish, but I AM Irish which often confuses people (long story involving great great grandparents and a conversion way back). My husband’s Irish too (his father converted). So we have this odd lot of Irish Jews.

    We are all wearing green today & let’s see how many heads turn when they register the green and then they notice my son’s kippah. 🙂

  7. Thursday, 17 March 2011 7:08 pm

    Wait, I want to go back to the Rosh Chodesh mani/pedi. What a terrific idea!! Love it… 🙂

  8. Saturday, 19 March 2011 6:47 pm

    Rosh Chodesh?


  1. Not my holidays… « Redefining Rebbetzin

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