Well, the grand day of paddywhackery is upon us. Green beer, goofy green hats, "Kiss me, I'm Irish" t-shirts, shamrocks everywhere, etc. etc. And don't even get me started on mass market Celtic kitsch like Lord of the Dance and Celtic Woman.
Boy, I'm grumpy today, aren't I? It's because I'm ambivalent about celebrating St. Patrick's birth. After all, he was the man who ended paganism in Ireland (or "drove the snakes out of Ireland," as it's usually expressed in mytho-poetic terms). And Christianity did not particularly bring peace or stability to that little island.
But then I think of the following quotation from Patricia Monaghan's book, The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog:
"Scratch a bit at the thin topsoil of Irish Catholicism," the saying goes, "and you soon come to the solid bedrock of Irish paganism."
Okay then, St. Pat, have your special day. We'll keep up appearances.