On the heels of the highly-successful Thanksgivukkah, which saw the rare confluence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, we are now–Baruch Hashem!–facing yet another great confluence: the Irish holiday of St. Patrick’s Day with the Jewish holiday of Purim. Best of all: both holidays involve copious amounts of drinking and public frivolity. I propose that we call it: “St. Purim’s Day.”
Technically, St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, which is Monday, while Purim falls this year on March 16, which is Sunday (and begins the night before). However, we are in luck, as there is a traditional rule that extends Purim to the next day. According to the Bible, residents of walled cities–like Jerusalem–celebrated Purim a day later.
So let’s call St. Purim’s Day for Sunday and Monday. (We’ll be too drunk to know the difference.)
The more closely you look at these two holidays, the more it looks like a match ordained in Heaven. Purim celebrates the story told in the Book of Esther in the Old Testament, in which the Jews of Persia were saved from destruction, thanks to the intervention of Queen Esther. Similarly, St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the life of a saint and national hero who is said to have banished snakes from Ireland, among other miraculous feats.
Then there’s the drinking. Jews are supposed to make merry on Purim–in fact, for the entire month. As early as the second grade, we were learning drinking songs at my Jewish day school. And St. Patrick’s Day–well, you know.
So here’s to St. Purim’s Day. Wear green–and blue. Drink up–and drink responsibly, otherwise you, like Elimelech of Gilhofen, might wind up with a big headache.
Here’s to you, Jews and Irishmen everywhere!
Image and full picture set at izismile.com