Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter 2012: Patron Saint of Horses & Taxi Drivers

Happy Easter everybody-- may bunnies never dig holes in your pasture, may your horses never crowhop, and may you receive chocolate all year round.

In Bavaria, they celebrate Easter by having a parade, at the end of which their traditionally decorated horses will be blessed. They've been doing it for 300 years. Awww, gorgeous! They also set giant wheels on fire and throw them down hills.

Oh, and I'm not really religious myself, but that never stopped me from celebrating stuff like Easter, especially when chocolate is involved! Speaking of religion, did you know that the patron saint of horses, vets, farriers and riders is Saint Eligius? He was a French goldsmith who didn't have anything much to do with horses, but after his death, this story about him spread:

"One day, when a horse was required to be shod, he plunged and kicked so much, that it was said he had the devil in him. St. Eligius was then appealed to, but instead of exorcising the devil he quietly cut off the animal's leg, placed it on an anvil and shod it properly, after which he replaced the leg by merely making the sign of the Cross."

Personally, I'm not sure that was a good thing to do... but whatever. Because horses were replaced by cars and those who fix them, St. Eligius is now also the patron saint of mechanics and taxi drivers. I know, I know, that makes exactly as much sense as chopping a horse's leg off to shoe it. Which, if you think about it, makes exactly as much sense as giant rabbits leaving painted chicken eggs and candy for children to find. Yay for beloved nonsensical traditions!

Tapestry with horse shod by St. Eligius

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