Author’s Note: Written as a birthday present several years ago for DebC, my favorite St. Patrick’s Day baby. 🙂
On any given day, due to the normal operations of a very busy base with a variety of personnel performing a variety of tasks, the attire at the SGC was anything but truly uniform. Plus, General Hammond allowed a certain amount of flexibility–as long as all of the military personnel were ‘in uniform,’ he wasn’t as picky about what that uniform was. True, the standard BDUs didn’t vary much except for color, but there was still enough of a difference to not cause this peculiar sense of déjà vu…synchronicity.
Olive drab wasn’t the traditional shade of green associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but it was still green, and most of the base seemed to have decided it was good enough.
“Is there some reason, Daniel Jackson, why everyone we have seen so far seems to be attired in the same color?” Teal’c asked with a frown as he and Daniel passed yet another pair of airmen in matching fatigues. The Jaffa himself was wearing blue, with a black t-shirt.
“It’s St. Patrick’s Day, Teal’c…no one wants to be pinched for not wearing green,” the archaeologist explained with a smile. He too had picked green today, although truth be told it was an accident on his part–he hadn’t even remembered the date until he’d arrived at the mountain to witness the overwhelming…sameness.
It looked odd enough to him…he could only imagine what the sight was like for an outsider like Teal’c. At least the Jaffa hadn’t yet suggested that the base had been subjected to some sort of Goa’uld mind control device.
The Jaffa raised an eyebrow and Daniel hurried to add, “Not that anyone would pinch you…I think by now most of the base knows better.”
“I do not understand–who is St. Patrick, and why must one be pinched if they do not wear green on his day?”
“It’s…um…” Oh dear. This presented a challenge. “St. Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland…”
“A false god,” Teal’c declared scornfully. “Why, then, is he still honored among the tau’ri?”
“No, not a god…um…a saint is…more like a particularly faithful follower of a god. Traditionally, St. Patrick was the first person to preach Christianity in Ireland…but, um, don’t ask me to explain Christianity right now, it’s a long story…and better suited for Easter, to tell the truth.”
The taller man didn’t look enlightened, and Daniel let out a deep sigh, not even noticing that he’d gone into lecture mode and begun to talk with his hands. “See…not all religions on Earth happened because one Goa’uld conquered another and took all his enemy’s slaves as his own. Patrick…Patrick essentially talked about his God, and tried to convince the people to leave their old gods and serve his instead. Unfortunately, some of the missionaries who followed weren’t quite so…reasonable.” This last was admitted with a frown.
“And for this he is honored.”
“Well…” Daniel hedged again. “Yes and no. I imagine any pagans in Ireland aren’t too happy about what he did, but, um…nowadays the holiday is really more about…the Irish culture anyway. The shamrock is traditionally thought to be the way Patrick explained the Doctrine of the Trinity, but leprechauns, good luck charms…a lot of these are symbols that go back far earlier. Back to the days when Ireland was ruled by the Tuatha de Danaan and the Sidhe and people believed that the world of Faerie was only a heartbeat away. Green is…well, Ireland is known as the ‘Emerald Isle’ for a reason, so it’s become…a traditional color.”
“Jaffa do not believe in ‘luck,'” Teal’c’s frown only deepened. “The tau’ri are truly a complex people, if they honor both ancient gods and the man who wished to supplant them on the same day.”
The archaeologist blinked, opened his mouth and shut it a couple of times before admitting, “You know…I never thought of it that way before.”
“Thought about what which way?” Jack’s voice interrupted unexpectedly from behind them. He too was wearing olive drab, only with a button proclaiming, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish,” pinned the left-hand breast pocket. “Teal’c. You’re looking very…blue today.”
“I was just trying to explain to Teal’c why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” Daniel said sheepishly.
“Ah.” The Colonel nodded in mock solemnity. “So. Teal’c. You want to know the real reason for St. Patrick’s Day?”
Jack grinned and slapped the Jaffa on the back. “Beer, Teal’c. It’s all about the beer.”