Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patricks Day!

As a child I remember this 'holiday' with both trepidation and fear. One year I told my father he was not wearing green to which he replied his suit was a shade of green and he proceeded to pinch me ... hard. (I did mention my father was 6'4" and always seemed like a very large person!)

But more than that I had always heard that St. Patrick was responsible for driving all of the snakes out of Ireland and I was sure that they were all in my back yard!!! (Why this only occurred to me once a year is beyond me...especially since I had never seen a snake in my yard).

Alas.... this morning I decided it was time to put my fears to rest and let you all know the REAL reason St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by the Irish Catholics.... (and everyone else who wants to partake in the revelry).

St. Patrick and the First St. Patrick's Day Parade

Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick's death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.    

Since around the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick on March 17. Interestingly, however, the first parade held to honor St. Patrick's Day took place not in Ireland but in the United States. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched throughNew York City. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.


  1. I was more worried about snakes under the bed at night, though I have no idea why I feared that there might be. Thanks for the bit of history on the start of St. Patrick's Day Parades. I love cultural celebrations of any kind!

    1. I like to figure out why they were started.... and then how out of proportion the stories that go along with them go....

  2. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Brenda. Mrs. Jim and I both wore green to church today. That dates back to my country 1-8 grade school celebrations and I haven't missed snince.

    It is true that Ireland doesn't have snakes. Neither does New Zealand but St. Patrick did not go there.

    1. Ha ha ha Jim...but did Patrick drive the snakes out of Ireland?


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