Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Everyone is Irish on March 17th but did you know . . .

March 17th is the anniversary of Saint Patrick’s death.

Saint Patrick . . .

  • Is Ireland’s patron saint but he was not born in Ireland.
  • After being kidnapped as an adolescent, St. Patrick became a devout Christian and ordained priest
  • Returned to Ireland and ushered out Paganism (by driving the snakes out of Ireland) and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. There were no snakes in Ireland at the time; it is thought to be a symbol of the Pagan rituals.
  • Had his own color blue.  St. Patrick appears in a distinct color blue in all paintings and drawings not the green his day is known for. 

Wearing Green on St. Patrick’s Day originated when Saint Patrick used Shamrocks to represent the Holy Trinity.  Irish Catholics began wearing them on their clothing to symbolize their faith. Over the years this tradition morphed into wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. Shamrocks really do not exist – they are wood sorrel or white and yellow clovers.  

A popular saying on St. Patrick’;s Day is “Kiss Me I’m Irish.”  This saying has its roots in the tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone for luck as well as eloquent and powerful speaking.  It is a common belief that if you cannot kiss the stone in Blarney Castle, kissing an Irish person will bring you the same luck.

Over 1,000,000 Irish people migrated to American port cities, mostly New York City and Boston, in the 10 years during and after the potato famine in Ireland.  Eating Corned Beef and Cabbage is an Irish-American tradition.  It originated from big Irish families in poor neighborhoods needing a special meal (translated to mean a cheap meal with meat and vegetables)  at least once per week.  Brisket was the cheapest meat available and cabbage the cheapest vegetable.  Since these people were living in “melting pots” they adapted their traditional  recipe to “brine” the meat.  Brining helps to preserve the meat.  This started the current version of a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner. In Ireland, the traditional meal was boiled bacon and potatoes.

The tradition of a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade originated in New York City in 1762. The first “parade” consisted of a few Irish militia men marching a few blocks to the local pub. Today, NYC’s parade is the oldest, largest and longest celebration with 3 million spectators annually.

No matter how or why you celebrate, have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Remember to kiss your favorite Irish person for luck!




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