Marking the onset of Christianity in Ireland, St. Patricks Day is the Holiday celebrated with pints of Guinness and people parading in leprechaun costumes with green hats dancing on top of their heads.
We all remember when Barney dressed up in a green suit and made the St. Patricks Day, ‘wait for it’ legendary. The holiday that is famous for its larger than life vibes and is a head spinner for generations to come. Celebrated across the western nations of the world this holiday aptly welcomes the onset of spring with pompous and parades. The day March 17th is said to be the day St. Patrick left for his heavenly abode blessing the people of Ireland with the start of Christianity. He left behind his legacy to be known to the world with two hand-written letters that were addressed to himself.
Tales and Legends
As the widely known legend goes, St. Patrick was born in England and at the tender age of 16, was kidnapped by Irish raiders. After six long years of enslavement, one night something happened, and that gave his life in Ireland a real purpose.
He believed that he was visited by God in his dreams and something about the whole situation made him realise that he needs to be set free. The journey for the ultimate escape then began and he was able to find a way and return to his family. However, he discovered the goal of his life and hence, decided to move back to Ireland. God had not just inspired him to break free, message to the natives, giving rise to the practice of Catholicism in Ireland. He is also believed to have driven all the snakes out of the nation, giving us a glimpse of the miracles he performed. If Jesus can turn water into rum, St. Patricks knew his tricks around the snakes.
Green, green and green
No, it’s not a hulk attack but the colour of St. Patrick’s Day inspired by the Shamrock leaf. There are various explanations to why green is associated with the celebrations. One of the most commonly believed reason is that St. Patrick used the three-lobed shamrock leaves to preach about the Holy Trinity comprising the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is used as the symbol of Christianity in Ireland even today, as St. Patrick is considered as the patron saint of the nation. The other possible reason is that the colour is derived from Ireland’s nickname as The Emerald Isle. There is also a mythical reason that is worth stating – wearing green makes you escape the leprechaun which may pinch you if you are visible. Whatever the reason is, the colour green has become synonymous with the revelry that can be witnessed at the St. Patrick’s Day parades. So now we know when to paint the town green.
Parades with pomp and pompous
Besides Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with much splendour in the United States of America as well. The parades in New York and Boston are well-known, not just as religious feasts, but also an absolute fiesta of colours! The Chicago River is also dyed in green to commemorate the occasion. The grand feast is prepared for one and all to indulge their taste buds in some lip smacking home cooked meals. The pubs are filled with people asking for pitchers of beers and Irish whiskey is the cherry on the cake. No St. Patrick’s Day goes by without one glass of authentic Irish whiskey for the ones who really need to blend in with the Irish culture.
St. Patrick’s Day is known for its big parades. New York City hosts one of the world’s largest celebrations, with two million people gathering for a six-hour march up Fifth Avenue. There are no cars or floats – just dancers, bands, and bagpipers. People prepare to walk the streets of New York dressed in leprechaun outfits and hit the closest Irish pub for a much needed night of celebration.
Ireland on Adrenaline
In Ireland itself it involves different processions through different villages and cities, usually followed by a trip to the local pub to continue the festivities. The Irish pub culture is recognised all over the world and people from all across the world travel down to Ireland not just for the beautiful scenic beauty, but also for the yummy Irish whiskey.
Irish pubs are to be found all over the world, from Tanzania to Peru and the Netherlands to Australia, one will always be able to find an Irish pub for a pint of Guinness and whatever comes near to an Irish stew that they offer. For a country that also brought us literature, music and art it would seem that the Irish are synonymous to good times and late nights. The Irish people surely know how to party and pull off late nights with mornings that open to long green pastures.
Facts to know
- St. Patrick was not Irish, he was from Wales – This is an unusual fact that many people don’t realize. St. Patrick is not Irish, he is actually Welsh. He served as a missionary in Ireland, but later fled back to England.
- The shamrock symbol is a teaching tool – St. Patrick was said to have used it to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City in 1760s – Regardless of it being a holiday based for Irish people, the parade started out in New York for the first time. Many Irish emigrated to NY back in the 1760’s and this parade featured Irish soldiers serving in the English army.
- Traditionally, every year, the Irish leader hands a crystal bowl full of shamrocks to the US President. Every year, the Irish leader makes a visit to the White House to present a crystal bowl full of shamrocks to the current president.