St. Patrick’s Day
The month of March is quite bland when looked into. The only special day that is thought of in the month of March would be St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patricks Day is celebrated on March 17th every year. Having been celebrated since the 17th century, this holiday has a colorful history, with many traditions and stories to tell. Many know this holiday as simply the day to wear green or else face the consequence of being pinched by a leprechaun. However, there is much more to this than simply a holiday to avoid getting pinched by a tiny green man.
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland; however, he wasn’t born in Ireland, as many believe. According to Britannica, St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century and kidnapped at the age of 16 to be taken to Ireland as a slave. St. Patrick did escape but returned to convert the Irish to Christianity and established many monasteries, churches, and schools. His death, March 17, started as a religious holiday, but the emigrants (particularly in the United States) transformed this into a largely secular holiday. Apart from having an extravagant history, St. Patrick’s Day has many things associated with it.
One word that comes to mind when the holiday is mentioned would be the color green. However, Time says that originally, the color blue was associated with the holiday, but now green is more commonly connected to the holiday. The use of green was introduced during the 1798 Irish Rebellion when the clover became a symbol of nationalism. This color soon spread to the uniforms, becoming the color of St. Patrick’s Day.
Another green thing associated with St. Patrick’s Day would be shamrocks or three-leaf clovers. Patrick used the three leaves of the shamrock to connect it to the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today, people wear shamrocks out of tradition and to get good luck. People carry shamrocks with them on this day to bring good luck for themselves and their families.
A surprising legend that is part of the history of St. Patrick’s Day would be the banning of snakes in Ireland. Sounds weird, right? According to National Geographic, a legend that is believed is that St. Patrick chased the snakes into the sea after they began attacking him during his forty-day fast he undertook on top of a hill. However, according to Irish Central, St. Patrick simply waved his staff which banished all the snakes from the island. None of these are true, however, as snakes have never existed in Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day is also known for the amazing delicacies made on that day. According to FoodNetwork, it is a tradition to eat corned beef and cabbage on this special holiday, maybe even adding a taste of shepherd’s pie. Another recipe enjoyed on this day, but not so widely known would be the Irish soda bread. However, this bread does not require any type of kneading, rising or waiting. Colcannon is another obligatory dish eaten on St. Patrick’s Day. Made with mashed potatoes and cabbage, it’s said to give corned beef a run for its title of most delicious dish.
With the quarantine in place, many of us are probably bored out of minds, not knowing what to do. However, St. Patrick’s Day may be able to help for an hour or two. Every year, St. Patrick’s Day parades are celebrated with a lot of fervor and joy. According to History, the first St, Patrick’s Day parade was held on March 17, 1601, in a Spanish colony. Unfortunately, the parades did get canceled this year due to COVID-19. However, YouTube will surely have some videos of the past parades that took place.
Hope you remembered to wear green this St. Patrick’s Day and stay safe!