This Thursday March 17th is Saint Patrick's Day or what's also called "the feast of Saint Patrick." This is a cultural as well as religious holiday that is celebrated every year all around the world on March 17 because it is the death date of the Irish patron who first brought in Christianity to Ireland and is a day of honoring the him.
The Saint Patrick's Day celebrations or commonly Irish culture themed and is usually consist of drinking, feasts, parades, religious services in catholic and some Christian churches, people wearing green, and eating traditional Irish food.
History of Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick is the well known patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick was born in Britain and when he was 16 he was captured by Irish raiders who attacked his family's area. he was then sent to Gaelic, Ireland where he was held a slave. It is said that he lived a very lonely, sad life working as a Sheppard.
During that time Saint Patrick became a Christian. where he found comfort and peace while being a slave. One day god spoke to Saint Patrick in a dream. God told him to leave Ireland and that there would be a ship waiting for him to take him back home.
Saint Patrick listened to god and escaped back to Britain and took religious training and was ordained as a priest. He was then sent to Ireland and had the mission to preach and convert the pagan Irish to Christianity.
He spent many years preaching to the Irish and converted thousands of them to Christianity. Since he was so familiar with Irish language and culture from being captive he then chose to incorporate Irish symbols and rituals into his teachings to help the Irish better understand Christianity, rather than eliminate the Irish beliefs.
He overlapped the sun (which is known to be a powerful Irish symbol) onto the traditional cross so that it would seem more familiar to the Irish.
Saint Patrick's Day Traditions and Celebrations
Today Saint Patrick's day is widely known all over the world. Many celebrations and feasts are taken up on St. Patrick's Day. The first St. Patrick's Day parade was celebrated on March 17, 1762 in New York City.
Many people will throw feasts on this day and eat traditional Irish food such as: corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, black and white pudding, sausage, coffee, fried eggs, fried tomatoes, Sheppard's pie, and soda bread.
Many will even drink alcohol such as beer. But if you are called to fast from beer due to lent many are said to be allowed on the holiday to break their fast but, are not allowed to drink heavily for that day.
Many cities in America will hold large parade such as: New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Savannah, and New Orleans.
One of the Irish traditions is to wear green for it is considered an act of paying tribute to Ireland and it is said that it brings in good luck. whoever isn't wearing green gets pinched!
During the holiday you may see leprechauns, shamrocks, and pot-of-gold's all around. They are relevant to St. Patrick’s Day. Three is said to be Ireland's lucky number and that the three petals on the shamrock represent trinity in the Christian religion. According to Irish folklore and mythology, Leprechauns are an Irish type of male faerie that inhabitated Ireland. It is said these leprechauns are small old men who are very wealthy and have buried pots of gold, you may find their pots of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Another thing you may see during St. Patrick's day is beer and water dyed green. At the white house they dye their fountain green, and Chicago will dye their river green as well.