Behind St. Patrick’s Day: More Than Just A Chance To Wear Green
Most Americans know it as a day to wear green and, more importantly, to pinch someone who is not wearing green. There is generally a parade and, of course, green beer. But what is St. Patrick’s Day? What are we really celebrating?
While most Americans are aware St. Patrick’s Day is associated with Ireland, few know who St. Patrick was and why we celebrate him so thoroughly every March 17.
Who Was St. Patrick?
Saint Patrick was born in Britain to a Roman family. He grew up in relative peace until 16 when he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland as a slave. For six years, he worked as a herdsman. This period is where he started to develop his faith. Ultimately, he was able to escape and return to his family in Britain.
In a dream, he felt drawn to return to Ireland and help the Irish. He spent many years debating this, as he was not highly educated. In Ireland, he journeyed throughout the country, baptizing and confirming with great passion.
He lived in fear of martyrdom throughout his life in Ireland. Saint Patrick was incredibly humble, continually giving thanks to God for having chosen him. His desire was for every person in Ireland to come to the Catholic church and know God.
Legends of St. Patrick
Not long after his death, stories and legends about St. Patrick began to circulate. One of the most famous legends is that he drove all of the snakes out of Ireland. The story goes that he used a staff to drive them into the sea.
St. Patrick himself wrote of raising people from the dead, some who had been deceased for years. An account from the time puts the number of raised at 33 men. St. Patrick is also said to have prayed for food for sailors, and a herd of pigs appeared.
The most famous legend of St. Patrick, and the basis for the symbolic green shamrock, is that St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock to help explain the idea of the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick was able to teach an unbeliever about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit with a plant that had three leaves.
Why Do We Have St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the official feast day of St. Patrick. Celebrations on this day in Ireland are typically more religious with a feast.
Emigrants to America, in particular, have turned St. Patrick’s Day into a more secular celebration of all things Irish. Cities with a large population of Irish Americans typically display elaborate St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with parades and city-wide decoration.
Boston was the first city to host a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1737. New York started theirs soon after. Since 1962, Chicago has dyed the river green to commemorate the day. People throughout the country wear green and shamrocks to partake in the festivities.
Did you know the original color associated with St. Patrick’s Day was not green? Any guesses as to which color gets this honor? If you are new to the game, blue is the original color associated with this saint.
In fact, in the 1700s, blue was adopted as the official color of “The Order of St. Patrick.” British followers traditionally used sky blue while their Irish brethren preferred a darker shade. While green is the official color of Ireland, it is still common to see blue in national symbols.
Which begs the question… what is your favorite way to celebrate St. Patrick?
How To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
For the guys…
Did you know St. Patrick has his own tartan? What better way to celebrate the feast day of St. Patrick than with a St. Patrick’s kilt? You might find yourself wearing this unique and versatile kilt more than just on March 17.
If you are looking to downplay your enthusiasm, why not wear one of the stylish brooches or buckles? Any of these pieces is a fantastic way to incorporate your love of all things Irish without decking yourself in green from head to foot.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our shamrock brooch. The shamrock is the national flower of Ireland. It is also traditional to pin a shamrock onto your lapel on St. Patrick’s Day.
For the girls…
For the ladies, this shamrock scarf is the perfect accessory to any outfit on St. Patrick’s Day. Not only is this scarf festive, but it is also warm and durable. For a more dainty look, try our Irish rosette.
If you are looking for something a little more beautiful for the lady in your life, why not get her a tartan stole? These are stylish and versatile and complete any look.
If jewelry is more your thing, we have the perfect piece! This Claddagh ring with a stunning emerald green gem will see use year-round, not just on St. Patrick’s Day. The Claddagh ring is steeped in Irish history, as well.
For the kids…
We also wouldn’t dream of leaving the kids out! Each of the kiddos in your life could have their very own Irish tartan kilt. Imagine dropping your kids off at school in a kilt! All of their friends will be jealous.
For everything else…
Come prepared for any party with your own Irish pub glass. Your pints of green Guinness will taste that much better out of this glass with a metal shamrock, and Ireland printed boldly. Show your love and Irish pride to all those around.
Of course, what is an Irish celebration without an Irish flag? Get one for your home today and show all of your neighbors your love of Ireland.
Whatever you need to celebrate your love of all things Ireland, The Celtic Croft is here to help.