Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Purim's Day

Before you google that holiday, let me be honest and tell you it doesn't exactly exist, and I wasn't the one to coin the phrase. The Jewish holiday of Purim and the Irish holiday of St. Patrick's Day are on the same weekend this year, and because both festivals feature a hero/heroine (Queen Esther and St. Patrick), food, drink, and public revelry, they compliment each other well. Since I'm neither Jewish nor Irish, I figure I can take the parts of both holidays that resonate with me and celebrate how I want.

It's also still Lent, which doesn't quite jibe with the atmosphere of St. Purim's Day. These holidays celebrate through indulgence. They are a kind of Mardi Gras for each culture, complete with costumes, parades, and alcohol. Lent, on the other hand, is about moderation and purification. (Although I guess if you celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Purim well enough, moderation and purification will start to look pretty good, so maybe there is a connection.)

So far, I've celebrated these holidays through food, drink, and music. Yesterday, Quinn and I made an awesome pizza, and we had some green beer while watching the Badger game at a Wisconsin bar near my apartment. Later, we went out dancing with friends, and ended the night with tacos and tortas from our favorite taqueria. This morning, we made brunch--green pancakes and eggs. Tonight, we made shepherd's pie.

Finally, Purim is also about giving back, something that I want to incorporate into my Lenten observances this week. The word charity can have a negative connotation, but I want to think about it as a foil to consumerism. When I think about my spending, I realize I'd rather buy a hungry person a sandwich than buy myself another pair of shoes. I've already started by cleaning out my closets and donating clothes and shoes I don't wear. Instead of buying new things, I'll check out thrift stores, or go without--I certainly don't need anything new right now. (I do want new's wedding season!)

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