This morning I got dressed, hopped in my car, and went to work. When I got to Walmart I noticed everyone had on green shirts instead of their usual blue. I however, was wearing blue. I had completely forgotten about St. Patrick’s Day, but then I got to thinking, why should I wear green anyway? So I started thinking about this interesting Irish holiday and why we celebrate it here in America. I know all the traditions like wearing green, drinking green beer, kissing people because they’re Irish… but where did it all start and how did we get to this?
First I wanted to know who was St. Patrick and why is there a holiday to celebrate him? After a quick search on the web I found an informative article on the History Channel website. St. Patrick was born in Britain but was taken as a slave to Ireland. Later he escaped but returned when he saw a vision in a dream telling him to go back to Ireland as a missionary. He was able to convert the Irish people to Christianity by adapting many of their pagan customs. For example, the native Irish people worshiped the sun, so St. Patrick combined the cross and the sun symbols into what we recognize as the Celtic cross.
What started out as a Catholic holiday to celebrate the conversion of Ireland from paganism to Christianity has been altered quite a bit over the years. When Irish immigrants came to America they celebrated by dressing in green and having parades. Since St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, Irish Christians indulged themselves on this day with a feast to commemorate St. Patrick. Perhaps this is how overtime many have come to view St. Patty’s Day as a day of indulging in drinking lots beer. Although the celebration is not exactly what it used to be, I think St. Patrick is deserving of his own holiday.
So in honor of St. Patrick, here are a few of my favorite green things.
What are some of your favorite green things?
Happy St. Patrick's Day!