Tuesday, 17 March 2009

This is me getting defiant

Yep. I know that's a Welsh flag. And I know it's bloody St Patrick's Day. How do I know? I saw a woman strolling through the Canadian War Museum wrapped in a sparkly green boa (I actually think it was a Christmas tree garland). I watched people traipsing up the canal in Cat-in-the-Hat type bonnets, only with green stripes. I watched as people in green shirts and bright green Mardi Gras beads, for gawd's sake, got an early start to their drinking and drug-bingeing at the bus stop. At 7:15 pm.

Fine. Celebrate Ottawa's historic Irish heritage (due largely to thousands of Irish labourers dying off while digging the Rideau Canal) by getting as messily drunk as possible. However, I feel bound to point out that there is evidence that St Patrick was actually Welsh. And I never see anyone making a fuss over St David's Day. Come to think of it, that may be a blessing, though I imagine March 1st is just another excuse to get drunk in Cardiff...

9 comments:

MediumRob said...

And to buy daffodils. Lots of lovely daffodils.

Jane Henry said...

I went to a school which was predominantly Irish. I used to get mighty pissed off by the sea of green on Paddy's Day and used to wear a red rose in defiance on St George's Day (then the height of geekdom, thankfully we can now reclaim our saint's day).

I was always taught that Paddy was the son of a Roman noble who went to Ireland to tame the wild men who lived there, and proved the existence of God by stepping very hard on some snakes.

Persephone said...

Alas, Rob, I live in Ottawa which is still in the icy grips of winter, especially on March 1st.

Elder daughter was born April 23rd, Jane/Jules, so we claim it for her, St George, and for William Shakespeare.

Jane Henry said...

Great day for your daughter to be born Persephone! Who is Canada's patron saint?
Btw I'm not averse to enjoying a wee dram and some Irish music on the green day, just got a bit tired of it being shoved down my throat as a kid.
Do you get daffs at all in Ottawa? Or do you bypass Spring and go straight to summer?

Persephone said...

I've always understood our patron saint to be St Joseph, but there's at least one web site that claims it's Saint Jean de Brébeuf. The patron saint of Québec is, of course, St Jean Baptiste, and his saint's day is the big party and picnic day in that province while the rest of us celebrate July 1st.

Daffs usually push through about mid-April in Ottawa, but I'm used to Victoria when they showed up in early March. Last year the Resident Fan Boy found some mini-daffs for me, but failing that this year, got me Bailey's instead....

I don't mind Irish culture one whit, it's just that I don't have a drop of Irish blood in my veins, and we've recently discovered, with the true identity of the Resident Fan Boy's paternal grandmother, that neither has the RFB nor our daughters. So I maintain, if Paddy people want me to make a fuss March 17th, then they need to reciprocate March 1st. That's all I'm sayin'...

Jane Henry said...

I should know when St Joseph's day is at was my father's name, but I don't!

Have heard of Jean Baptiste, but not St Jean de Brebeuf (but the catholic church has a list of obscure saints as long as your arm. I know this as aged eight I obsessively did project after project on saints, and the list was neverending!)

It is a fair enough point about Paddy's day. They do get a tad carried away. Funnily enough my dad was always keen to maintain we DIDN'T have any Irish in us, as our family (Moffatt - good old Scottish name that) went from Scotland to Ireland for a mere three generations and then came over here. I think that's splitting hairs, cos I maintain if you're brought up somewhere you can claim that culture too if you want. Funnily enough he never mentioned that his MOTHER had Irish connections too. So I think I'm as Celtic as they come, and have no problem with it whatsoever. But I never have got into Irish dancing...

bonnie-ann black said...

St. Joseph's Day is March 18th. i know this because my cousins, who are part italian, always make a big deal of it.

i'm half irish and half scots, and as my siblings and i always say: the irish half wants to go out and party, but the scots half doesn't want to pay for it.

quite honestly, since i'm no longer in a band, i don't go out st. patrick's night. it's haunted by kids and amateur drinkers and stupid hats and feather boas.

and for years, i used to handmake st. david's day cards for a local store that sold celtic items of all kinds. since i don't believe in any religion, nor give veneration to any saints, i don't mind celebrating any feast that comes along.

Cymru an Byth! Erin goh Bragh; Here's Tae Us! Salute!

Persephone said...

That's Cymru am byth, cupcake, but I appreciate the sentiment!

bonnie-ann black said...

drat! i knew that... fingers are very slippery sometimes.