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According to a recent article published by the New York Times, Christianity has weakened drastically since the 1960s. Lots of people who once would have been lukewarm Christmas-and-Easter churchgoers now identify as having “no religion” or being “spiritual but not religious.” Yet, even with America’s churches in decline, the religious impulse has hardly disappeared. And whether they know it or not, the "spiritual, not religious" crowd is at the forefront of the pagan revival.
In the dark days of winter, since ancient times, humans have felt the need to bring greenery into their homes. Today we have Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, Hanukah bushes, and scores of houseplants, but many religions have embraced this spiritual need as part of their winter and solstice traditions as well as venerating trees throughout the year as a divine symbol that connects Heaven and Earth.
The Feast of Saint Patrick, held on March 17th each year, not only commemorates the saint and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland but also celebrates the heritage and culture of the country. But what traditions did Christianity replace in Ireland?