St. Patrick’s Day

MICHELLE STYRON/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD

Shamrocks, the wearing of green, luck of the Irish, green beer…how do these relate to the traditional St. Patrick’s Day? Let’s find out.

There are few facts about the mysterious Patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, but per clinical assistant professor of Irish Studies at New York University Marion Casey’s report to Time Magazine in 2016, it is known that he was a Roman citizen. Prior to becoming a priest, Saint Patrick was enslaved and taken to Ireland, where he later escaped or was released.

Within the six years spent as a slave in Ireland Saint Patrick learned a lot about the Irish people, who at the time were known to be a barbaric people. After gaining his freedom, Saint Patrick became a priest and returned to Ireland, where he delivered God’s word to the then pagan land and had a good stroke of luck converting the people to Christianity.

It is believed that Saint Patrick died on March 17 around the year of 461, hence the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. Many of the traditions celebrated today were not adopted until the 18th century.

The assignment of a botanical item is customary for all saints and the shamrock was assigned to Saint Patrick around 1720, when the celebrations started getting a little out of control and partakers needed a reminder of the holidays significance.

It is a known fact for most that green is the color to wear on St. Paddy’s Day, but why? The original color associated with St. Patrick’s Day was blue, but in 1798 when the Irish people wore green during the Irish Rebellion and sang “The Wearing of Green” that labeled the color in Irish history.

As for the green beer, that was more of a marketing tactic from breweries in the 20th century versus an actual traditional symbolism of the holiday.

Friday remember that St. Patrick’s Day was originally celebrated to remember the slave who returned to his captor’s nation to deliver all of its people to Christianity.

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