This year Saint Patrick's Day and Purim are on the same day, which hasn’t occurred since 1957.
“So, what’s the big deal?” you may be asking yourself. Assuming that you’re familiar with the bibulous tendencies of Saint Patrick’s Day, let’s talk about Purim. (If you’re not familiar with Saint Patrick’s Day, I suppose you could Google it.)
Purim is the only Jewish holiday to specifically promote drinking to excess. This tradition comes from the Talmud in which Rabbi Rava suggests that people should drink on Purim until they can "no longer distinguish between arur Haman (often translated as “enemy”) and baruch Mordechai (often translated as “friend”)." In other words, it’s sort of a peace holiday brought about by drinking.
Incidentally, people also dress up and make special foods, so it’s sort of like Halloween at a small liberal arts college.
But back to the Great Conjunction. Since Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the previous night, this means that a Jewish Irishman of extraordinary stamina would begin drinking at 7:00 PM (if he lived, in let’s say, Saint Albans, VT) on March 16th, and drink straight through until 2 AM on March 18th.
Isn't Saint Patrick's Day...Problematic?
Now, a brief note on Saint Patrick’s Day. Many modern pagans and heathens prefer not to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on account of the fact that he was beatified for expelling the pagans from Ireland. It is also plausibly claimed that this was yet another “borrowed” pagan holiday brought into alignment with the Christian calendar. There is also the more obvious complaint that ribald intoxication associated with Irish American heritage is more than a little problematic.
Obviously, invent an inclusive holiday called March Drinking Day and throw a huge (virtual) party!
Now, we absolutely do not condone a 31 hour bender as outlined above. Sleep is important, friends. (And, as always, please drink responsibly.) But we can’t let this amazing conjoined holiday slip past us!
Over the next few days, we’re going to be announcing a bunch of virtual events and activities on several different platforms, but order your March Drinking Day Set now so it arrives in time!