Monday, October 12, 2015

Carpe Diem #837 St. Patrick's Day

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I think this episode will be a short one, because of lack of time and maybe because I think that the most of you know what St. Patrick's Day means. I didn't know that St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in Japan, because I know this holiday only from Ireland. So let us take a closer look at what St. Patrick's Day means and why it is celebrated in Japan.

Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.

Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

Credits: St. Patrick

Saint Patrick:

Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Much of what is known about Saint Patrick comes from the Declaration, which was allegedly written by Patrick himself. It is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. According to the Declaration, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. It says that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he "found God". The Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.

According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted "thousands". Patrick's efforts to convert, subjugate, and drive off the Pagans (specifically the Celts) were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove "snakes" out of Ireland. (Ireland never had any snakes.)(Source: Wikipedia)
Irish Clover, it is said that St. Patrick used this to explain the Holy Trinity to the Pagans
Now we know a little bit more about St. Patrick. So let us take a look at how St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in Japan. According to several sources St. Patrick's Day was introduced to Japan very recently in 1992 since then it has become a celebration all over Japan.
Japan has a surprisingly large number of St. Patrick's Day events with parades in several cities. The largest by far is the Tokyo St. Patrick's Day Parade in Omotesando with 15,000 participants and 50,000 spectators. The event features marching bands, cheerleaders and plenty of enthusiastic supporters. It's celebrated on March 15th instead of March 17th as is the custom in other countries.
Credits: St. Patrick's Day Parade Tokyo
Well ... it has become a longer episode than I had planned, but it's a nice episode I think. I wasn't inspired so I surfed the Internet to find a few examples of haiku on St. Patrick's Day.

on St Patrick’s Day
shamrock confetti showers
she thinks of her home

© Barbara A Taylor (Australia)

St. Patrick‘s Day –
not knowing any better,
lambs dance a set

© Paddy Bushe (Ireland)

I hope you did like this episode and I hope it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku or tanka.
!! I am (hopelessly) behind with commenting I hope to catch up a.s.a.p. !!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 15th at noon (CET). I will (try to) post our next episode, a new Haiku Writing Techniques episode, later on. For now ... have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely fascinating how the festival has grown in Japan.