Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's day!

Happy Irish day everyone!
Dinner is still cooking and while I wait for my pollo con pancetta to be ready, I want to share something on this Saint Patrick's day.
It's not my first year overseas and I should be used to this celebration by now.
But somehow, Saint Patrick's day is hard to understand for me: in my opinion, the fact that this day is related to a Saint is even contradictory. No one knows (among the majority of people I know) who Saint Patrick was and what it did. On the other hand, everybody has very clear the main purpose of this festivity:  get wasted and drink as much as your body can possibly stand (and even a little more). I know, there are many other Saints-related celebrations whose original meaning is ignored by most of the people (Valentine's Day #1 example). But they didn't become an alcoholic day!!!
Well, I was out last night and I had tons of fun...I'm not "against Saint Patrick". I just don't get it.  Maybe it's because in my entire life March 17th was something else: it' s my mom's "name day".
Her name is Patrizia (Italian feminine version of Patrizio - Patrick) and she used to tell me how important this day was for her when she was little.
In post-war Italy, religion was still a huge deal for everybody (much more than what it is today) and children didn't get to celebrate their birthday. Their special day throughout the year was their "onomastico" (name day) and it was always related to a Saint. In our calendar every day has one, or more than one, designated Saint. The idea of my mom at 12 all excited while getting ready for her party and my grandma (nonna Maria) baking and cooking, as she always did for special occasions, warms my heart and gives me a more familiar connotation for this crazy Saint Patrick's day and I like this one better!
Buon onomastico mammina!

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