NOT for KidsO'Green Day is just around the corner, how are you going to celebrate? What? You've never heard of such a holiday? Apparently you don't live in Wilbraham, Massachusetts where children at Soule Roade School will not be able to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but instead a random day named after a color. Why? On account of religion, that's why.
In order to not offend the non-Christian (Catholic? Irish Catholic? It's unclear) students, the principal has decided to re-name the holiday during the school week, and celebrate with children wearing green and eating lots of green vegetables. In contrast to the children praying to St. Patrick and trying to convert non-believers?
It may seem silly to take the saint out of the holiday that's actually named for him, but on the other hand, I kind of get it.
I was raised Protestant, but now my kids go to a Jewish school. I never realized, until I tried to bring a load of Valentine's to my daughter's pre-school last year, the implications of St. Valentine's Day nor St. Patrick's Day. It seems obvious, however, that Valentine's Day has to do with love and St. Patrick's Day has to do with bad food, lots of beer, and wearing green. My religion never came into it, until my kid's religious school explained that these are not Jewish holidays or even secular holidays. Oh, right.
Even though the traditions we have here in America are totally secular, these two fun-filled holidays are actually rooted in Catholicism. Hence, the whole "St." thing. And while it may seem like Massachusetts would be the last place where this holiday would be censored, I suppose you have to start somewhere. Or not.
It's not like these kids are doing anything differently on O'Green Day vs. St. Patrick's Day. I don't recall any type of genuflecting going on during my own childhood when St. Pat's Day rolled around. Instead, lots of pinching and explanations of, "But my eyes are green. It counts!" And I suspect many of these kids are of Irish descent, and perhaps discuss their history as well on this day.
While I'm politically correct, and think we all should be, I'm just not totally sold on the name change here. Either you celebrate St. Patrick's Day or you don't. Changing the name doesn't take the religious aspect out of it, any more than leaving it the same makes kids stop and ponder the good deeds of Saint Patrick while they're chasing each other on the playground trying to get a pinch.
What do you think about O'Green Day?
Image via MDGovpics/Flickr