The smell of corned beef with cabbage and potatoes deliciously spreading on the streets, the people are parading wearing green clothes and drinking Guinness beer, and the world-famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids at Giza, and the Sydney Opera House are lit with spectacular green lights.
It`s more than obvious – it`s St. Patrick`s Day!
Celebrated on the 17th of March, St. Patrick is held annually all across the globe. However, this cultural and religious holiday was, first and foremost, an Irish one.
Who Is St. Patrick?
The real name of the patron saint of Ireland was Maewyn Succat. Surprisingly, he wasn’t religious nor Irish! He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 and at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland. It was only then he found his way to God. As a slave in the harsh conditions he was in, he became deeply religious.
When he went back to Britain, years after his kidnapping, he changed his name to Patrick which meant father on Latin. His strong belief and the voices in his head lead him back to Ireland where he had a harsh yet meaningful life up until his death. It is believed he established schools, churches, and monasteries all across Ireland.
How Did This Irish Holiday Turn Into An International One?
One more reason to drink a quality Irish beer and enjoy life *while having a green hat on*.
Joke aside, this holiday became an international one with the help of emigrants who sought a better life. In the period from 1845 up until 1852, during the Irish potato famine, more than one million Irish found a home, particularly in the United States.
The first celebration ever was held in Boston in 1737 and the first parade in New York City in 1766. Another spectacular event is when Chicago dyes its river named Kelly green. The dye doesn’t last much, only a couple of hours, but surely is a memorable sight to see.
The Color Green
Although there isn’t a green beer reserved for drinking on this “green day”, the color green dominants all across the globe when celebrating this holiday.
According to some historians, during the Irish Rebellion against Britain which happened in 1798, the Irish soldiers choose to wear green instead of their common blue uniforms. Even though this might sound silly, it is the only established link between the color green and Ireland.
Why the Three-Leaf Clover Is The St. Patrick`s Symbol?
Another thing that stands out on this day is the three-leaf clover or the so-called shamrock. This trefoil plant has been the national emblem and flower of Ireland for centuries!
As we learned, St. Patrick used to teach about Christianity, so the common legend says he used this flower to explain the Holy Trinity to nonbelievers.Regardless of where you live, when 17 March comes don’t forget to put your funky green hat on and celebrate with some quality Irish beer!