Erin Go Bragh, L’Chaim and Hail Ostara! It’s spring, and in Yentaland, that means a mash-up of celebrations that all seem to lead to the bottle. (Leprecohen t-shirt available here.)
Those of you still peeling yourself off the carpet are well aware that yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, and if you were in Savannah, you may still be peeling yourself off the pavement. Savannah’s legendary St. Pat’s festivities are the second largest in the nation—the parade was FOUR AND HALF HOURS LONG—and hundreds of thousands of people come to the city to tumble around River Street carrying plastic cups of green beer. It sounds horrifying and potentially disastrous, yet somehow it all manages to be a nice family event (if your family doesn’t mind lots of boozy hugs and kisses from strangers.)
Saturday night ushers in Purim, the Jewish holiday where Queen Esther gets her due and us normally-teetotalling Jews are literally commanded to drink until we can’t tell the difference between cursed Haman (the bad guy) and Mordecai (the good guy.) This could mean two glasses of wine or an entire keg of Pabst Blue Ribbon; it’s really between you and your liver. Personally, I usually stop when I can’t tell the difference between El Yenta Man in his Vashti costume and the President of the Sisterhood.
And then we have the Spring Equinox on Sunday, the actual midpoint of the earth’s turns; whatever calendar/religion/heritage you identify with, you can’t deny physics. Some of my fabulous NoCal witchy friends honor the celestial event with a wild, skirt-swinging ritual under the stars, lots o’ homemade mead and a feast of eggs to symbolize rebirth. I don’t know too many Savannah pagans, but I’s gots a trunkful of Stevie Nicks goddess wear and extra chicken eggs…
It’s no accident that so many cultures usher in spring with a party, right? Most of us humans spent a winter of cold toes and bleak scenery, and now that the sun is shining a little and the flowers are bursting, we just want a little hoop-dee-doo—whether your poison is cheap beer flowing from a keg on River Street, a few sips of Manischewitz in the synagogue sanctuary or just the clean night air of Sunday’s giant full supermoon. You don’t need alcohol to feel how much nature wants to party: Just take a deep breath and you could get schnockered just on pollen right now.
The key during this week of indulgence is PACING. Obviously. And leaving the driving to others (thank you for a lovely bus ride downtown yesterday, Chatham County Transit!)
The really fabulous thing is that all three celebrations require costumes of some kind—my thrifted green hippie skirt is gonna get a lot of wear.
A Blessed Blarney chag sameach to all!
Oh, and just because no one really listens to enough Jim Morrison, here’s “The Alabama Song,” just ’cause. (Especially for Aminta.)