For those of you who love, practice or admire Irish culture, celebrating St. Patrick's Day is certainly something fun to look forward to during the month of March. In one week, we will all be sporting our favorite green attire and toasting to good old St. Patrick. But before you reach for the Guinness, here is a little background on this widely celebrated holiday.
Known as one of the most famous patron saints of Ireland, St. Patrick is widely recognized as the man responsible for bringing Christianity to the island. March 17th has been observed as a religious holiday honoring St. Patrick for over 1500 years. Whether you live in Ireland or not, this holiday is celebrated in many countries all over the world.
Born in Britain as Maewyn Succat, he was sold into slavery as a teen, working on a farm for years until he decided to make his religious vision a reality. He became an ordained priest, converting Irish Celtic Pagans to the Christianity religion. He regularly used the shamrock in his teachings, representing the holy trinity. In Celtic religion, each clover leaf held meaning so using that to teach Christian religion was beneficial for all.
In addition to his religious ventures, he made the symbolic shamrock a fashion statement that still resonates with people of Irish descent to this day. When celebrating the popular holiday, you will see that shamrocks grace almost every piece of clothing and accessories associated with Saint Patrick's Day. He also created the Celtic cross, an Irish cross with a superimposed sun on it. This added design to an otherwise basic cross made it unique and easy to associate with Irish culture. The shamrock and the Celtic cross are symbolic to those who practice Irish religion and have been for many, many years.
Celebrating the Holiday
When celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be decked out in all green- the color that became Ireland’s symbol of nationalism, thanks to the lucky shamrock. Green everything! From wearing green, to eating green food, it’s always a fun part of the holiday. Dressing in all green and bonding over your love of Irish culture!
Don’t forget to break out the traditional Irish dinner- Corned beef and cabbage! This iconic meal has become a staple for celebrating the holiday each year and is a well-loved recipe around the world. This entree is sure to be a hit with everyone and the perfect way to include Irish loved cuisine into the celebration.
You can also check for local parades or celebrations in your area. Parades are extremely popular in many countries outside of Ireland. These parades are to honor Saint Patrick and our love for the holiday. Search online- there will likely be many options for joining in on the St Patty’s Day festivities!
And lastly, don’t forget to toast your favorite Irish beer to the holiday while celebrating with friends and family. Cheers!