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 Post subject: Saint's Day challenge
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:40 pm 
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I'm reading a book* (about dragon-slaying) in which St George's Day is mentioned. I decided that this was a useful piece of useless information to know, so I decided to remember it. And then I realized that with this new acquisition, I now knew the names and dates of precisely two saint's days, which is a fairly pathetic haul, if you ask me. In my defense, I'm not catholic, and have never been a member of any church. So who can beat me?

I'll leave a few blank lines, so you can get your bids in before you scroll down.

*E K Johnston's excellent and witty The Story of Owen.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:46 pm 
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My only bingos were St George's Day, April 23, and St Stephen's Day, Dec 26. Although I suppose Dec 25, Jesus Christ's Day also counts.

For the sake of interest, I went and looked up my birthday on a list of catholic saints' days, and found there are no less than 23 of them, none of whom had I heard of.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:16 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
For the sake of interest, I went and looked up my birthday on a list of catholic saints' days, and found there are no less than 23 of them, none of whom had I heard of.

As I am also not Catholic, I'm not well-versed on what it takes to attain sainthood, but I thought there was a quite rigorous (possibly for want of better term) selection process. Yet your birthday also happens to be that of 23 saints' days? Maybe I was wrong about the selection process!

My birthday happens to be that of seven saints' days. I had heard of precisely zero of those saints.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:01 pm 
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Prior to JP2, the Catholic church tried to be fairly sparing about conferring sainthood, lest the whole concept get devalued. They even went through the calendar of saints a turfed out a bunch that had likely been co-opted pagan gods rather than Christian heroes. Popular Saints like St Brigit and St Christopher both got demoted.

But when Karol Wojlyta became pope, he blew the doors open. He saw sainthood as great advertising, and saw no reason to restrict it to the holiest of the holy. So, the church has been declaring saints holus bolus in the past few decades, and every new saint requires a day. Only there aren't any more days in a year than there used to be. In the medieval era, Saint's days were unique. You could say "St Swithin's day" (As Billy Bragg does - July 15) and everyone would know what you mean. Now. there are so many saints that no casual observer can keep them straight.

If there's 23 on my birthday and 7 on yours, the average is 15. 15 x 365 = 5,475. I dunno how many saints the church now claims, but that number means most will be obscure to any but specialists.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Last edited by s1m0n on Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:07 pm 
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I know it's probably the most obscure one, but the patron saint of beer and the snake banisher himself, Patrick, must never be forgotten.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:13 pm 
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awildman wrote:
The patron saint of beer and the snake banisher himself, Patrick, must never be forgotten.

Wholeheartedly agreed!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:53 am 
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OTOH St P's day is Mar 16?
The date is an essential part of this question. If you can't name the date without googling, you lose. Of course, I can't police that, but this is the contest, and your're on your honour.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:21 am 
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Saint Valentine's Day


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:14 am 
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Saint Nicholas's day is actually Dec. 6. I only know that because the excellent Swiss dopplebock Samiclaus is made on Dec. 6 each year.

I once read an article in the newspaper about Saint David's day, which is March 1. He's the patron saint of Wales, and the only reason I remember this is because the last sentence of the article said something like "If you see someone wearing a leek on his hat on March 1, you know he's Welsh."

It's odd what you remember.

By the way, Simon, I received Salt Fat Acid Heat for Christmas from my wife. Thanks for clueing us in to it -- I'm really enjoying it, it's the perfect book for a cooking geek with a chemistry background.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:29 am 
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awildman wrote:
the patron saint of beer , Patrick.

St. Arnold of Soissons is the patron saint of brewers.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:57 pm 
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It's a good thing I was raised Presbyterian instead of Russian Orthodox (my mom's and dad's traditions, respectively), otherwise I'd really start nitpicking. :wink:

But I can't play the challenge anyway, because I have no sense of occasion. I can hardly remember the holidays at all even with their accompanying buildup and hype blaring in my face; I'm always off in my own little world. I'm like, "Yeah, yeah. Fuzzy bunnies and eggs that look like Michael Portillo. I think it's supposed to be Easter sometime off in the distance, right? - What? Tomorrow?" Even this upcoming weekend comes as something of a surprise every time I remember it's going to be the New Year. Then I thought, All Saints' Day should let me off the hook!, but even so I had to look it up because I still wasn't 100% sure. I have to look up the date for St. Paddy's and St. Valentine's Days every time. Every time, even with people telling me. I simply keep forgetting. I probably wouldn't even remember my own birthday except that I stand to get a free drink at the bar for it. Sigh. I'm such a knave.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:12 pm 
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chas wrote:
By the way, Simon, I received Salt Fat Acid Heat for Christmas from my wife. Thanks for clueing us in to it -- I'm really enjoying it, it's the perfect book for a cooking geek with a chemistry background.


I bought this for my wife on Simon's suggestion also, and it has been a big hit, she really enjoys it. I've only read the Forward and the Introduction; my wife is a much more enthusiastic cook than I am.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:17 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
OTOH St P's day is Mar 16?


Pretty sure (from memory) that Saint Patrick's day is March 17th. It's celebrated then in the U.S. anyway.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:36 pm 
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The one I'll never get wrong is St Andrew's Day (30 November), though more from a strong sense of identity than any interest in saints.

I should be able to do others (St David's, St Patrick's, St Cecilia's), but couldn't remember any of them exactly!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:25 pm 
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An Draighean wrote:
s1m0n wrote:
OTOH St P's day is Mar 16?


Pretty sure (from memory) that Saint Patrick's day is March 17th. It's celebrated then in the U.S. anyway.


Quite right.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


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