Saint Pat’s Day
This is one of my favorite writing themes. And that is Czech names in the calendar. Each day is dedicated to a different name. Of course some are more popular than others. Probably the most widely celebrated name day is March 19th which is Joseph’s/Josephine’s day.
Since Joseph is a very popular name in Czech, everybody celebrates much like Saint Pat’s here in the USA. It doesn’t mean that the day is an official holiday, but it is very similar to huge Saint Pat’s celebrations in Chicago and Canada.
And even though they don’t color their rivers green or march in parades, March 19th is still a big deal. Usually women bake for the day, and plum brandy known as slivovice flows freely, even at work.
The men sit in pubs and other public hospitality establishments. Other names like Emma have been incorporated into the Czech calendar from other countries. The name Emma originates in France.
A lot of names come from Russia like Sasha or Sergej or from other surrounding countries like Poland and Germany.
In many cases, there are more than one name dedicated to each day because of the influence from the Western countries. There are cards for each name day. That’s a lot of cards.
Among the most popular modern names for men are Jakub and Luke, even though it keeps changing constantly. For women I have yet to find out. But it also could be Katerina and Marta.
Also each church has a patron saint. The most popular ones are Saint Mary’s. They have their own feast celebrations such as Saint Mary’s in Stipa that celebrates the feast on September 12th which is Mary’s day.
The communities celebrate the patron saints with wakes, carnivals and fairs. Different carnival companies come to towns, and the feast is preceded by a dance.
Locally, in Parnell there is Saint Pat’s Church that celebrates the feast last weekend in June. It is a major fundraiser for Saint Pat’s School.
It usually features a polka band on Sundays and chicken dinners. The dinners are very popular, and people come from all over. The parish women bake desserts, and there is a display of old cars, 50:50 raffle and cards on Friday and Saturday nights.
Of course there is a beer tent and an auction. The patron feasts are important to all the parishes as a way to celebrate the saint.
For more info go to stpatrickparnell.org
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