a question and answer forum.....for the time being. All things change and become something else if there is growth even Olde Baggs.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here's an almost belated St. Paddy's Day to ya.....

We did a bit of wearin' of the green today. Had cabbage in our fish tacos. And did the traditional pagan hangin' of the snake.


What? You've never heard of the long held tradition of displaying an orange snake for St. Paddy's Day. Well....you don't live in my neighborhood then.

My Mother was English/Irish/Scotch/English all over again. My daughter's father (not Sweet Man) was Scotch/Irish. My grands paternal families are a mix of British (lest we get confused with English), Welsh and Scottish. So for the three woman of the family + our dear little boyo, we are for all intensive purposes eligible to claim an almost Irish ancestry.

Now I know you've read all about the "story" of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland and being the patron Saint (male), Bridget (female) of the emerald green isle of Ireland but I bet you have never been told who the snakes were. Don't fool yourself into believing like lemmings that the slithering kind of snake went sliding off of the seaward side of Ireland into the Atlantic, cuz that just didn't happen.

Like so many tales of old, the main ingredients of the story were changed as they passed down thru the ages or through social filters developed by man to control mankind. The snakes were the heathen, pagan and Druids of Ireland. St. Patrick brought Christian religion to Ireland. And Ireland had been the stopping place for many of the displaced "non-believers" as the Romans took over Britain....ya can't go much further west in Europe unless you have a boat, ship or can swim a heck of long way. So all the riff raff ended up in Ireland. I am the great, great, great of that riff raff as are many others.

Now back to the orange snake. I have through the years noted that the further from Ireland folks live, the less "traditional" the celebration of the day. Most Americans think of green beer, corned beef and cabbage and parades with lots of police, fire personal, etc. But here in the west...uh just mostly the beer.

When I was a kid, I was raised Methodist in a very Catholic state. When I found out that green was a traditional color for Catholic Irish and Orange was the color for Protestant Irish, well, I was shocked. I'd never seen an orange leprechaun...nor a green one but you get my drift. I've been vague on the taking sides for most of my life. Well my Mother being English Methodist....uh yeah, wouldn't wear green. I don't know but okay.

So now that I am my own person....and the head of Casa de Cuckoo...........we have a new take on the holiday. (And you would think anything different coming from me?) So when I found this perfectly adorable orange no less, snake I knew he was destined to be yet another social protest of sorts for this old hippie lady. We have a St. Paddy's Day tree, very green, very Irish with leprechauns, clover, pipes, top hats, sweet cheeked Irish lads and lasses in the inside and a big ole, in your face pagan snake on the outside.

We're saying here's to the ones that got away. CHEERS.

6 comments:

  1. I think I am moving to Casa du Coocoo. you make me laugh. interesting about your family roots. tahe care.hugs to you and your family.

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  2. Fascinating about the "snakes" in Ireland. Thank you for stretching my brain a bit more.

    Can I come live with you guys?

    word vert: fooft. I need to move the chair about a fooft to the left. If I had an additional fooft of space in the tin can on wheels, that is.

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  3. Thanks for the history lesson. The poor viper has been terribly bashed throughout history. In ancient times, there were many snake related religions and when the good ol' Church took over, that slithering beastie was relegated to the depths of hell. Frankly, I kind of like them and I'm Catholic!! LOL

    As for the Irish Green, this town of beaners have taken this tradition and have run with it!! But we Mexicans love a good party, no matter what's being celebrated!! LOL

    Again, thanks for that Orange (William, you must be so proud)snake story...new one for me!! Have a great weekend.

    Loves ya,
    G

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  4. The legen wasn't about real snakes? Thanks for explaining that. Where does one find an orange snake? My father claimed we were French/German/Scots/Irish with a bit of American Indian so if I'm to follow tradition I need to get an orange snake to hang next year.

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  5. Love the history lesson and the kids are as cute as can be. See you tomorrow!

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