By: Alex Durante
St. Patrick’s Day takes place on March 17 every year, and is celebrated in many different ways. Some traditional ways include eating, wearing green, and drinking. In this article, The Squire will help you learn all you need to know about the holiday: who St. Patrick was, the history behind some traditions, and more.
Who is St. Patrick, and why do we dedicate a whole holiday to him? According to USA Today, he was born around 400 A.D. in Britain and later kidnapped by Irish pirates. While he was enslaved in Ireland, he became a very religious man. He advanced back to Britain after 17 years of being a slave and later returned to Ireland as a missionary, wanting to die there to make his mission successful. It is believed that he indeed died there on March 17.
Next up is a symbol commonly associated with St. Patrick’s Day and good luck: the four-leaf clover. Well, according to USA Today, it’s believed that St. Patrick used a three-leaf clover to explain the Christian Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. So what do four-leaf clovers have to do with all of this? Better Homes & Gardens says Ireland is supposed to have more four- leaf clovers than anywhere else. No clover plants naturally produce clovers with four leaves, making four-leafed ones uncommon. Each leaf is said to symbolize something different: one for faith, one for hope, one for love, and one for luck. Since Ireland is supposed to be full of four-leaf clovers, there is a meaning to the phrase “the luck of the Irish.”
Many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by eating and drinking, and one of the most popular meals is corned beef and cabbage. According to the History Channel website, pork was a popular dish in Ireland, which was prohibited for Irish immigrants to eat in the U.S. back in the 1700’s. The Irish living in New York City at the time visited Jewish delis and lunch carts, which were serving corned beef. Irish people thought it tasted like Irish bacon, the staple meal in Ireland, and cabbage was a cheap side to go along with the corned beef, so they ate that as well.
Are you going to wear green this St. Patrick’s Day? You may do it in honor of the holiday, without even knowing why the color is associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Well, Answers.com says that it is the thought that wearing green made you invisible to leprechauns, who apparently pinched everything in sight. Leprechauns were popular in Irish folklore, leading America, among other countries, to lump all these Irish symbols together to represent one holiday – St. Patrick’s Day, of course.
This St. Patrick’s Day, consider trying corned beef and cabbage if you’ve never had it before. Wear something green. If you don’t, someone might pinch you. Try looking for four – leaf clovers and maybe research St. Patrick. If you and your family don’t already have your own unique St. Patrick’s Day traditions, this year might just be the year to start.
Picture source: http://www.sheratononthefalls.com