I know a lot of Pagans have strong feelings about St. Patrick's Day. Some, I've even heard, wear black. Others celebrate 'All Snakes Day'.
See, there's a story that goes around saying that 'snakes' are not what St. Patrick drove out of Ireland-- Ireland is too cold, snakes never lived there. They say the 'snakes' Patty chased out were actually the Pagans. And a lot of modern-day Pagans hate him for it, pining over 'what if' ancient Paganism survived.
But the fact of the matter is, Patrick didn't just show up in Ireland one day. He was kidnapped by the Pagans. He escaped, and went back to evangelize. No guns, no wars, no armies-- just to spread the word about his Christian religion. And the people, they were just ripe for it somehow. It spread like wild fire-- quickly, and peacefully. Yes, really-- peacefully. There was no bloody holocaust.
And since I believe people have a right to choose their religion, I respect that they did choose Christianity back then. If not, I'd be a hypocrite to say it's okay that Paganism is resurging now and that it's good that Christians are converting to Paganism.
So basically, I bear no grudges. And besides, in America at least, the focus of the celebration isn't Patty, or religion. The focus is celebrating your Irish heritage. I think is a really great thing to be part of that. I know it's a tradition in my family to have that Irish-American meal of corned beef and potatoes (neither of which are native to Ireland, either, lol). I don't drink green beer because I don't like having green poo for a week, but I will raise a Guinness toast to my fellow Irish-Americans (in part or in whole), and try not to get too politically worked up about Patrick and the history of Paganism.
My Advice to You Today: Celebrate St. Patrick's Day if you want, or if you always have. Don't let your Pagan beliefs get in the way of your family traditions that you might enjoy, or of having a fun night on the town with friends.
And if it's not your thing, that's fine too. Live & let live, right?
Are you or have you ever been conflicted about Celebrating St. Patrick's Day?