The History Of Saint Patrick’s Day
“There are only two kinds of people in the world,
The Irish and those who wish they were.”
– Irish Blessing
Saint Patrick’s Day is a celebration of all things Irish. Most Saint Paddy’s day celebrations center around wearing green, pinching those who forget, drinking Guinness, and eating corned beef and cabbage.
Huge parades, dancing, and drinking green beer are large parts of the secular observance of the holiday, although that is not how it began.
Saint Patrick, although now the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Roman Britain. His father and grandfather were active in the church, but Patrick wasn’t a believer until after Irish pirates kidnapped him at the age of 16.
During the 6 years he spent enslaved in Ireland, Patrick found God. He escaped from his captors after hearing a voice (believed to be the voice of God) tell him what to do. Patrick eventually returned home to Roman Britain where he became a priest.
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Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary and converted thousands to Christianity during his time there. He became a bishop later in life and has been exalted as the patron Saint of Ireland for centuries.
As with all men who become legends, not everything we hear about Saint Patrick is actually true. One piece of folklore indicates that Patrick was responsible for ridding Ireland of snakes (or serpents). However, we now know that there had been no snakes in Ireland since the last Ice Age.
In addition to the literal meaning, one theory suggests this was said in reference to Patrick’s unending attempts to convert the Irish pagans, known as Druids, or have them banished or killed if they resisted.
Some traditions associated with St. Paddy’s day have little to no known connection with Saint Patrick. The shamrock, however, is not one of them.
Saint Patrick used a shamrock (a 3 leafed clover) to illustrate the Holy Trinity during his Christian teachings. The shamrock is now one of the most easily recognizable symbols associated with St. Paddy’s day.
March 17th, the date of Saint Patrick’s death, was declared a public holiday in Ireland in 1903. The Catholic church still holds Saint Patrick’s day as a holy day, beginning with morning mass.
One bit of folklore that most everyone recognizes, whether Irish or not, is the legend of the leprechaun. Leprechauns have been a huge part of Ireland’s mythology for thousands of years.
Modern depictions show little men clothed in green and wearing green hats, desperate to protect their pot of gold. They’ve long been seen as tricksters, capable of magic but untrustworthy.
Despite the stories of riches such as pots of gold or magical amulets, leprechauns are said to be shoemakers by trade. The sound that signifies a leprechaun is close-by is a little tapping noise similar to hammering nails into shoes.
Don’t go to Ireland searching for these tricky little creatures because they are officially protected under European Law, finding sanctuary in the Sliabh Foy Loop.
Leprechauns are still fairly prevalent in popular culture. The depictions range from the cartoony cute Lucky, the long running Lucky Charms mascot to the sadistic killer in the (terrible!) Leprechaun movie series. While they are said to be an endangered species, odds are that they will be around for quite some time.
Don’t Forget To Check Out Awe Filled Book Nook’s St. Patrick’s Day reading Favorites!
How to Catch a LeprechaunMy Lucky DayLeprechauns Don’t Play Basketball (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, #4)That’s What Leprechauns DoThe Story of the LeprechaunPatrick: Patron Saint of IrelandSt. Patrick’s Day Activity Book For Kids: Matching, Mazes and Coloring BookSt. Patrick of Ireland: A BiographyThe Night Before St. Patrick’s DayThe Story of Saint PatrickThe Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever
St. Patrick’s Day will be here before you know it! Don’t forget to wear green so you do not get pinched! Gotta have the luck O’ the Irish with you on that day! Also, don’t miss out on the unit study below!
You may also enjoy planning a meal for St Patricks Day like this Delicious Instant Pot Lamb Stew! It is so, so good! Would make a great meal while learning the history of St Patricks Day!
& Saint Patrick’s day will be here before you know it! So grab a shamrock and start practicing your accent. Everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s dayIn Awe,