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Meet Sheilagh, St. Patrick's wife...........?

 
 
Ceili
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2004 01:35 am
I was perusing the local paper when this story caught my eye. Now, understandably Newfoundland has plenty of myths and fish tales but, until the very moment I'd read this article, I had no idea St. Paddy was the marrying kind.

It got me to thinking, I live in an area pretty bereft of historical mythology. I've noticed however cities have their traditions. Often sparked by mundane, or silly events. Cheese heads or the tribes of New Orleans, the bon homme, ogopogo, running of the bulls, never take lava from hawaiian volcanos, whatever..........
I'm curious, does your city have something unique, a belief, a lucky symbol, a tradition, anything really. Just idle thoughts. Smile

Spring cleaning came early for St. Patrick's wife, Sheilagh
The Canadian Press
Monday, March 15, 2004

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. - Forget about groundhogs, Farmers' Almanacs and satellite systems; some Newfoundlanders swear by mythology when it comes to forecasting the weather around St. Patrick's Day.

Folks in Newfoundland say the snow that seems to fall on the Rock every year around March 17 is something more than just plain old precipitation.

It's commonly known as Sheilagh's Brush.

"There's always a large snowfall around St. Patrick's Day," explained Paul O'Neill, a past president of the Irish Newfoundland Society.

"And that is Sheilagh, St. Patrick's wife, brushing the last snow out of heaven for the winter, and it comes down on us in the form of a little storm."

The snow-sweeping myth is unique to Newfoundland, said O'Neill, whose friends in Ireland have never heard of Sheilagh's spring cleaning. O'Neill suspects the myth dates back to the first Irish settlers on Newfoundland.

But a snowstorm that dumped almost 60 centimetres in parts of Newfoundland a week ago has many wondering if Sheilagh is losing her sense of timing.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 11:28 am
Nice to know such customs survive, ceile. I was trying to think of what we might have here in Seattle, but everything that comes to mind is a more recent phenomenon, like opening day of boating season.

Hardly something shrouded in the mists of time!
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 02:50 pm
I've always worn a bit of green for St. Patrick's day. This year I had to dig a rather ratty old shirt out of the closet for the occasion.



OH, Paddy dear! and did ye hear the news that's goin' round?
The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground!
No more St. Patrick's day we'll keep; his colour can't be seen,
For there's a cruel law ag'in' the Wearin' o' the Green!

I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand, 5
And he said, "How's poor ould Ireland, and how does she stand?"
"She's the most distressful country that ever yet was seen,
For they're hanging men and women there for the Wearin' o' the Green.

An' if the colour we must wear is England's cruel red,
Let it remind us of the blood that Ireland has shed; 10
Then pull the shamrock from your hat, and throw it on the sod,
An' never fear, 'twill take root there, though under foot 'tis trod.

When law can stop the blades of grass from growin' as they grow,
An' when the leaves in summer time their colour dare not show,
Then I will change the colour, too, I wear in my caubeen; 15
But till that day, plaise God, I'll stick to the Wearin' o' the Green.

Green is also the preferred color for the Good People, the Wee Folk--but St. Patrick and his church bells drove the Good People out of Ireland.
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devriesj
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 03:33 pm
This isn't a local thing necessarily. It came down to me through my Grandmother...Since it's St. Paddy's Day & all, apparently the Dutch (part of ORANGE instead of green on this day. I never found out exactly why, so I where my green just to avoid getting pinched!

p.s. I'll check for lore from here. Where I'm from seems pretty boring (we actually call my city "Bland Rapids"!) it'd be fun to track something down.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 03:37 pm
devriesj--

The Dutch--William of Orange and all that--were Protestant and very interested in subduing and civilizing the unruly Catholics of Ireland.

Remember there are riots very summer when the Orangemen insist on their traditional rights to march through Catholic neighborhoods (well fortified with traditionally coloured beer and Irish whiskey)?
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George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 04:03 pm
There is a legend in Stoneham that if the Stoneham HS football team ever beats Reading on Thanksgiving, the Devil will appear wearing a fur coat and galoshes.

Well, no, I just made that up.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 04:27 pm
Noddy24 wrote:
devriesj--

The Dutch--William of Orange and all that--were Protestant and very interested in subduing and civilizing the unruly Catholics of Ireland.

Remember there are riots very summer when the Orangemen insist on their traditional rights to march through Catholic neighborhoods (well fortified with traditionally coloured beer and Irish whiskey)?


Noddy

Actually, it weren't really Dutch but English protestants:
Quote:
The English monarchy was restored in 1660. When King James II, a Catholic, succeeded his brother Charles II to the throne, and showed signs of raising his son and heir to be Catholic as well, members of Parliament feared England's complete return to Catholicism. In 1688 these members took it upon themselves to invite James' Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange to take the English throne. Although this 'Glorious Revolution' was largely peaceful within England, battles were fought in Ireland between the Catholics, loyal to James, and the Protestants, loyal to William and Mary.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 04:34 pm
Walter--

Wasn't William of Orange the Dutch Husband of Mary?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 04:47 pm
Yeap, but he was kind of only Dutchman there:
William Henry, Prince Of Orange, (Dutch: Willem Hendrik, Prins Van Oranje) stadholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands as William III (1672-1702) and king of Great Britain(1689-1702), reigning jointly with (his cousin) Queen Mary II (until her death in 1694).
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devriesj
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 08:07 pm
re : the Dutch & orange...
Thanks for the info., all. (George, Walter & Noddy)I just love being educated! REALLY! Very Happy
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