Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Even we Princetonians try to avoid orange today...
A very substantial proportion of Americans with ancestors from Ireland have orange and not green in their background. Myself included. Whether or not our ancestors from Ireland wore green or orange, we are all ornery Celts. As are those with ancestors from Scotland.
The Celts have the best Holidays.
Name you favorite holidays. Mine are Halloween, Christmas, St Patrick's Day, and the Fourth of July.
The ancient Celtic calendar divided the year into quarters based on the equinox, and had four big holidays ... the longest day, the shortest day, and the two others in between.
The shortest day was adopted by the Catholic Church as Christmas ... there's nothing in the Bible about when Christmas happened during the year. The Pagan Celts already had a holiday to gather all together around the family fire.
In Ireland, the Church co-opted St Patricks' Day for another.
Halloween is actually the Celtic New Year's Eve ... literally.
The Truth is Out There: The Celts and many other cultures celebrated after the shortest day of the year, when days started to get longer. In researching a paper on Mithra many years ago, I had read that the reason for adopting Christ's birthday on December 25 was that it was Mithra's birthday. Mithra was apparently not the only deity with a December 25 birthday. Whatever.In any event, the Celtic influence upon us in the US is is both wide and deep.( I wager that the song Butcher Boy/Tarrytown, from whence I got "W&D," is of Celtic origin.)
TH: point taken. As I recall, I did not wear orange on March 17 when I was in high school, for that very reason. A Jewish guy at my high school finessed it by wearing both orange and green on March 17. His ability to get along with everyone was shown by his being elected class treasurer, a position he did not seek.
The flag of the Irish Republic is orange, white and green, for a reason.
Speaking of flags: You're seven minutes late
Irish songs have pretty much the same lyrics - The Girl I Left Behind. This comes from the two waves of immigration: the first from the countryside to the cities, especially Dublin (and some English cities as well); the second to the US, Canada, and Australia.