Sunday, March 16, 2008

how to Paganize St. Pat's

For those who want an unexpected excuse for substance abuse, some alternative to everybody else's St. Pat's, consider th Bacchanalia: an ancient Greco-Roman festival to th god of drunkenness, fertility, ecstasy & irrationality, Bacchus slash Dionysus! It starts today & goes for three days. So instead of wearing green tights & shamrocks, consider leopard skins; carry a thyrsus & goat-skin wineflask. (Bacchus doesn't mind you going unvegan for three days of th year.)

Wikipedia has this to say about th Bacchanalia:

Introduced into Rome (c. 200 BC) from the Greek culture of southern Italy or by way of Greek-influenced Etruria, the bacchanalia were held in secret and attended by women only, in the grove of Simila, near the Aventine Hill, on March 16 and 17. Subsequently, admission to the rites were extended to men and celebrations took place five times a month. The notoriety of these festivals, where many kinds of crimes and political conspiracies were supposed to be planned, led in 186 BC to a decree of the Senate — the so-called Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, inscribed on a bronze tablet discovered in Calabria (1640), now at Vienna — by which the Bacchanalia were prohibited throughout all Italy except in certain special cases which must be approved specifically by the Senate. In spite of the severe punishment inflicted on those found in violation of this decree, the Bacchanalia were not stamped out, at any rate in the south of Italy, for a very long time.

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