Ivy Day

Ivy Day

October 6
October 6 is the anniversary of the death of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891), the famous Irish statesman and leader of the Home Rule Party. He entered the House of Commons when he was only 29 and quickly established a reputation for hostility to England and all things English. He became a hero to the Irish poor, many of whom would try to touch his clothes or kiss his hands and knees when he walked through a crowd.
Parnell fell out of public favor somewhat when he became involved in a divorce case in 1890, and the trauma of rejection by so many of his countrypeople is thought to have contributed to his early death in 1891. But he is a symbol of Irish pride and independence, and his name appears frequently in Irish literature, particularly the poetry of William Butler Yeats and the short story in James Joyce's Dubliners called "Ivy Day in the Committee Room."
It is somewhat ironic that the sprig of green ivy traditionally worn on this day—chosen by Parnell himself as an emblem—is a color he apparently intensely disliked.
SOURCES:
DictDays-1988, p. 60
References in periodicals archive ?
Sisters, " Counterparts, " Clay " Ivy Day in the Committee Room, " and The Dead.