Today is both St. Patrick’s Day and Purim. Irish people (including folks who are only Irish one day a year) and Jews are united in partying, drinking, and making merry! Technically, last night was the beginning of Purim and the primary occasion for events, but they still overlap.
My new book, Celtic Punk Superfan, includes a piece where I explore whether there might be a link between the two holidays, as part of a larger context looking at Jewish-Irish connections. Here’s an excerpt: “Perhaps someone needs to force a connection. For several years in New York, there has been an annual music/comedy event called St. Purim’s Day. ‘Two great traditions united in inebriation. For one night, everyone’s JewIrish,’ boasted one ad.” That’s the origin of the term “JewIrish,” which I use several times in the book. I also mention Irish Jews wearing kilts as part of their Purim outfits.
In 2019, klezmer-punk band Golem played a show a few days before Purim and the night before St. Patrick’s Day. The band members wore Purim costumes. Singer/accordionist Annette Ezekiel Kogan quipped, “Both holidays, I believe, it’s a mitzvah to get drunk.” Click here to read my blog post from last year, “Purim Punk Performances, Pre-Pandemic,” which discussed that Purim show and others I’ve attended through the years.
Gregory Maupin and Brigid Kaelin released a delightful song titled “When St. Paddy’s Falls on Purim” earlier this month. My favorite lyric is “Neither Haman nor the snakes could do us in!” Check out the video below!
As in other years when the two holidays have come around the same time, several articles have pointed out the overlap. Check out “L’chaim! Slainte! Purim and Saint Patrick’s Day Coincide, and Rabbi Joseph Prouser Notices” in the Jewish Standard. The Forward scores a hat trick with articles discussing a cocktail called a Haman O’Reilly, St. Patrick’s Day hamentaschen, and costumes. The latter piece recommends a joint King David/St. Patrick getup: “Usually, they don’t swathe David in green from head to toe, but the general robe-and-scepter vibe is consistent. Plus, King David was a redhead, as are, at least stereotypically, the Irish — look at how much we share. Maybe ditch the cross-shaped staff that the saint’s outfit comes with, and then this costume can take you from synagogue to the Shamrock Bar.”