Or do you celebrate because everyone else does?
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world not just in Ireland, but why? People everywhere turn to March 17th for shamrocks and shenanigans. Does anyone know anything about St. Patrick or why we celebrate the holiday? Are we concerned about avoiding being pinched with our attire, or with the pot of gold that would translate to an estimated $1.2 million, or with an excuse to drink green beer? Probably not!
Patrick is famous for bringing Christianity to the famously Catholic Island of Ireland. He remains one of their patron saints today. Who is the man behind the legend and how did this become something celebrated across the world?
Originally from Wales, Patrick traveled to Ireland as a slave. At 16-year-old, he was captured by pirates and spent 6 years herding sheep in the countryside before escaping and returning to his parents. He decided to study in the church. St. Patrick felt called to Ireland and spent his days spreading Christianity to the Irish people. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th each year to mark the day Patrick died.
Snakes were never driven out of Ireland by St. Patrick. Nope, he cannot take the credit for the low population of snakes in the country. It is believed this was symbolic. Representing the evil counterparts that went fleeting as St. Patrick shared the message of Christianity to the people.
Not Traditional to Drink Beer
Getting drunk on St. Patrick’s Day is not an early tradition. Beer could not be consumed openly on St. Patrick’s Day until 1970 due to the status of the holiday changing from a religious to an international holiday. Now between eleven & thirteen million pints of Guinness Beer are consumed generating over $245 million in beer sales.
Is the Holiday as we have come to know it more American than Irish?
Rooted in tradition, Bostonians were the first to celebrate the holiday in 1737, as a gesture of solidarity among the city’s new Irish immigrants. Chicago also holds a large parade with over two million spectators and participants to honor Irish immigrants where they dye the Chicago River green. The White House, since 2009, has also continued this tradition in its fountain.
Should be wearing blue?
St. Patrick’s Day was a very blue day.– Blue was the color of choice When Henry VIII, King of England, declared himself the King of Ireland in the 16th century. Patrick became associated with green. A green shamrock was a symbol that St. Patrick used to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish and the “wearing of the green” meant to wear a shamrock to display your faith.
So, whether you celebrate with blue, green, orange, or white this St. Patrick’s Day…green beer, or no beer…think the shamrocks represent good luck & fortune or symbolize the Christian concept of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) enjoy the holiday and do so responsibly.