A Bird in the Grave Equals Two in the Pub

Hear Irish words of wisdom at the Saint Stephen’s Day celebration.

You got a cheap split of Merlot and some low-grade cheese from your boss, your fourth shower radio in as many years at your office gift exchange, and one of those singing fish wall-mounts from your slightly behind-the-times uncle in Iowa. Another shitty Christmas. You want revenge and swear that Santa Claus will beg for mercy when you get to him. The reality, however, is that Santa is a very well-protected man; his North Pole compound is rumored to have twice the security of the Pentagon. But don’t fret. There are other options, like bird murder.

Legend has it that Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was accosted and killed by an angry mob after a chattering wren revealed his hiding place. In Ireland, December 26 marks Saint Stephen’s Day, when the Wren Boys hunt for that songbird to exact retribution for ratting out Saint Stephen and then go from house to house and pub to pub, singing and collecting money for a decent burial for the bird. At 4 today, the Wren Boys of the South Florida Emerald Society will explain these quaint customs and sing the songs of Saint Stephen’s Day at John Martin’s.
Sun., Jan. 6, 2008

 
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