Day 3 –
We took a drive through the Wicklow Mountains to a beautiful and peaceful place called, Glendalough – which in Irish means, Glen of the Two Lakes. This was a 6th century monastary site founded by St. Kevin – whom I had never heard of before this trip. This Kevin was, however, very popular with the Irish people of his day (around 600 AD). After his death people continued to make their pilgrimages to Glendalough to celebrate the feast of St. Kevin. At some point these party goers got too rowdy and the feast was discontinued. There has been a revival of some sorts in modern times to revive the feast and celebrations. I was able to find a few tips to help you in your own Feast of St. Kevin plans:
1. Well, your celebration really ought to be on June 3, which is St. Kevin’s Day. However, I think it is appropriate to celebrate this joyous event every day by being kind to animals, or at least to people who smell like animals.
2. Since it is a FEAST, and feasting requires refreshments, then the fashionable and authentic celebration of the Feast of St. Kevin really ought to include some goodies.
3. If you are near a lake, that’s a great place to celebrate the Feast. St. Kevin loved the two lakes that dominated his Glendalough home. One of them was known to have a water monster in it, so if you have a lake nearby that has a water monster in it you have a PERFECT location for your Feast. Ideally, it’s a monster that eats people –St. Kevin’s monster ate people (except St. Kevin because the monster sensed he was an animal lover).
4. The proper Feast of St. Kevin is not particularly proper at all. In fact, it really ought to be quite riotous. Not necessarily unsafe or illegal, but it MUST be blast or it’s not really a Feast of St. Kevin. Loud and exaggerated story-telling of the type that only a true Irishman (or lover of the Celtic way) can accomplish is the hallmark of a great Feast. The riotousness must also be joyous, not destructive or hateful, and be truly a celebration of life and the divinity that resides in all living and nonliving aspects of our natural world.
5. The Feast must ABSOLUTELY feature appropriate homage to the great saint. Specifically, large signs or banners acknowledging the saint in whose honor the feast is held are appropriate. The bolder and brighter the better. Appropriate colors would be green (for the Emerald Isle) and blue (for the two lakes of Glendalough). Brown is totally inappropriate because there is no room for crap on this holy and happy day. Invitations should be as informal as possible, but also very clear that the day’s activities honor St. Kevin specifically. Tee shirts with St. Kevin emblems (such as a lake monster or St. Kevin’s Cross) are appropriate. Fake beards and monks robes may also be distributed to the guests. Those with the given name of Kevin should be treated as VIPs at your event and be given every special courtesy you can think of (e.g., first in line for food, kisses from women [“Kiss Me, I’m Kevin” lapel buttons are appropriate], washing of their cars, and places of honor at any meals that are served).
6. Folks without a sense of humor should not be invited. They just wouldn’t get it, anyway.
7. Animal products such as cheese and milk are acceptable, but avoid butchered meat on the Feast of St. Kevin. Try to avoid torturing or maiming animals in any way. And absolutely no dead cat jokes on this day. I’m just saying is all!