Every year on March 17th, we celebrate the Irish with the holiday of Saint Patrick.
Are you a little Irish, a lot Irish, maybe not Irish at all but still enjoy the festivities?
This day is celebrated with a day of festivities full of legends and myths surrounding leprechauns, four-leaf clovers, pots of gold and green beer.
Who is Saint Patrick?
Saint Patrick (385 AD – 461 AD) is known as the Apostle of Ireland as he is credited with bringing Christianity to the island.
Saint Patrick was born into a religiously notable family from Roman Britain. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest from Banna Venta Berniae.
Saint Patrick was captured and enslaved throughout various parts of his life by the Irish. After he was released, he believed god spoke to him which led him to become a religious leader and missionary in Ireland.
While sainthood is given to a person after their death, Saint Patrick was never officially named a saint by a Pope but is treated as such for his contributions to Irish society.
Legends of Saint Patrick
Chasing the Snakes Away
It’s believed that Saint Patrick chased the snakes away from Ireland and into the sea. The story goes that snakes attacked him during a 40-day fast and were a terror to the island.
Ireland does not have snakes native to the island. It has been reported throughout history that snakes have never inhabited the area. Therefore, Saint Patrick never chased them away.
The history with shamrock starts with Saint Patrick as he taught the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. He used the shamrock, a three-leafed plant to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God.
Every year, we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17th which is presumed to be the day of his death. People around the world celebrate their Irish heritage with parades, costumes, and all that is green…including beer.
Ireland is very green and often referred to as the Emerald Isle. While the shamrock is associated with Saint Patrick’s Christian teachings, the shamrock also represents the new spring season. People wear green to celebrate Ireland and to welcome the new spring season.
Why Green Beer?
While some might associate the Irish with delicious beer such as Guinness or KilKenny, green beer is not an actual tradition of Saint Patrick’s Day. Green beer originated in the 1950s by a college in Ohio.
What is a Leprechaun?
The Irish have a long-standing belief in fairies that have magical powers to serve both good and evil. Leprechauns are known for their trickery which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure; a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Are You Irish?
Popular genealogy websites have Saint Patrick’s Day specials to celebrate Irish heritage. Have you completed your DNA test or researched your Irish ancestors?