St. Patrick’s Day and the Shamrock

Although I’m not Irish, I’m featuring St. Patrick’s Day here in my Holiday Specials page.

Two days after the Ides of March is the feast day for the patron saint of Ireland – Saint Patrick. It is a national holiday for the nation and Irish people around the world. Aside from that, it is considered a bank holiday for Northern Ireland, a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a widely celebreted day throughout the world, especially in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

During this day, celebrations are themed towards anything that is green and Irish. Children also wear green in their hair and many people have artists draw shamrocks on their cheeks. The Shamrock, or three-leaf clover, is a famous symbol worn by people celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. It is also believed that St. Patrick use the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans of pre-Christian Ireland. Another symbol associated with St. Patrick is the shillelagh, or staff, which he used to drive out snakes in to the sea.Did you know:  Although Saint Patrick’s Day has the colour green as its theme, one little known fact is that blue was once the colour associated with this day.  More at:  http://www.ottawaplus.ca/feature/st_patrick/103/history_lore.jsp Irish clover.jpg

A little history on the holiday:

“In the past, St. Patrick’s Day has been a much more sombre occasion compared to today’s beer-filled, rollicking celebrations. In fact, originally a religious holiday, St. Patrick’s Day was one of the only times pubs could be found closed across Ireland. Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who lived from the end of the 4th century until the second half of the 5th century, is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) marks the anniversary of his death. Traditionally, the holiday has been a time for spiritual renewal and family gatherings.”  More at:  http://www.ottawaplus.ca/feature/st_patrick/103/history_lore.jsp)

Moreover, as mentioned above, St. Patrick’s Day’s color used to be blue and not green. Only when green became the Irish national color did they changed it from blue to green.

But why celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at all?

Here’s a good answer:

“Saint Patrick’s Day has come to be associated with all things Irish, including luck, rainbows, leprechauns, shamrocks, and anything green or gold. It is celebrated by those who merely want an excuse for excessive partying and for those of faith who use St. Patrick’s Day as a traditional day for spiritual renewal and prayer.

It is believed that we celebrate this day on March 17th to celebrate the day of St. Patrick’s death. As the Irish immigrated throughout the world, they took their history, beliefs and traditions with them – especially the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. Although he was born nearly 1600 years ago, his presence is still felt today around the world.”  (http://www.saintpatricksday-holiday.com/irish.traditions/why.celebrate.st.patrick.htm)

People have always believed in myths, legends and the supernatural. But with the coming of Christianity, these beliefs slowly faded and were replaced with the Christian faith and doctrines. However, old habits die hard, and it just so happens that St. Patrick’s Day combines a paganism and Christianity at their best.

St. Patrick’s Day – John Mayer

Here comes the cold
Break out the winter clothes
And find a love to call your own
You – enter you
Your cheeks a shade of pink
And the rest of you in powder patdayblue

Who knows what will be
But I’ll make you this guarantee

No way November will see our goodbye
When it comes to December it’s obvious why
No one wants to be alone at Christmas time

In the dark, on the phone
You tell me the names of your brothers
And your favorite colors

I’m learning you
And when it snows again
We’ll take a walk outside
And search the sky
Like children doNo way November will see our goodbye
When it comes to December it’s obvious why
No one wants to be alone at Christmas time
And come January we’re frozen inside
Making new resolutions a hundred times
February, won’t you be my valentine?

And we’ll both be safe ’til St. Patrrick’s DayWe should take a ride tonight around the town
and look around at all the beautiful houses
something in the way that blue lights on a black night
can make you feel more
everybody, it seems to me, just wants to be
just like you and meNo one wants to be alone at Christmas time
Come January we’re frozen inside
Making new resolutions a hundred times
February, won’t you be my valentine?And if our always is all that we gave
And we someday take that away
I’ll be alright if it was just ’til St. Patrick’s Day

st_patricks_day

Did you know?

“On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage St Patrick’s Day.”

Back to Holiday Specials

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Patrick’s_Day
http://www.ottawaplus.ca/feature/st_patrick/103/history_lore.jsp
http://www.theholidayspot.com/patrick/lyrics.htm
http://www.saintpatricksday-holiday.com/irish.traditions/why.celebrate.st.patrick.htm
http://www.partyfun411.com/st_patricks_day.html

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