St. Patrick’s Day is here
Grab your green garb, everyone. Today is St. Patrick’s Day.
Although many cultures and people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this holiday is steeped in Irish traditions.
Bear with me as I bypass the lucky charms, pots o’ gold and leprechauns as we get to the root of St. Patrick’s Day.
Thanks to the History Channel’s website, this Dutch girl learned about the beginnings of this infamous Irish holiday.
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on March 17, which is the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, in the fifth century.
Saint Patrick was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture.
The History Channel goes on to say the Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. 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.
Today, major celebrations happen across the United States and the world, with notable parades in Boston, Chicago, Savannah and Philadelphia.
Perhaps the most well known legend, according to the History Channel, is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.
As a kid, I searched endlessly for lucky four leaf clovers. I never found any, but I enjoyed the hunt for them nonetheless.
Aside from clover hunting, I have never really taken part in the St. Patrick’s festivities, including dressing up in the color green.
For those unaware, wearing green on the holiday is tradition. Unsuspecting individuals who don’t wear any shade of green on St. Patrick’s Day are often “playfully pinched.” I highly advise those partaking in the festivities today to not “playfully pinch” those who choose not to wear green.
Those who know me well know about my need for “personal space.” When people invade it, it becomes problematic for all people involved. This rang true one year in college, when I had multiple people come up and try to “playfully pinch” my arm because I lacked the Irish colors. It’s safe to say these interactions did not go over in a positive manner.
I encourage everyone to enjoy the holiday weekend and stay safe. If you see me around, don’t kiss me, I’m Dutch, not Irish!!
Whatever happens this St. Patty’s weekend, I’m sure it will be an adventure.