St. Patrick lived in the 5th century, meaning a lot of what we "know" today is speculation and taking the word of documents from well over a thousand years ago. He was born in the 4th century in Roman Britain to a Christian deacon and his wife. At 16, he was kidnapped by traders and sent to Gaelic Ireland as a slave where he worked as a shepherd until he "found God" and ran away to return home. He later returned to Ireland to convert people to Christianity and run the druids out of Ireland. That's right America, we've been lied to. The "snakes" St. Patrick drove out were the druids! IRELAND HAD NO SNAKES! I feel betrayed.
Anyway! In the 17th century, it was declared that March 17th, the day of his death, would be a day of feasting and celebration. Fun fact: though we usually associate the day with Green, traditionally Irish Protestants also wore Orange! The Shamrock, an iconic symbol of the day and the country, was supposedly used by St. Patrick to help explain the holy trinity to the pagan Irish since it has three distinct leaves (Not the "lucky" four leaf clover). There is also a tradition in which a shamrock is placed in a glass with whiskey, cider, or beer. You then toast to Ireland, St. Patrick, or the people in the room, and drink--you either swallow the shamrock or toss it over your shoulder for good luck! We have now decided this will be one of our traditions in the family!
There is actually a lot more interesting stuff to learn about, so I highly suggest at least skimming the Wiki page.
Now, my family is practically famous for it's inability to use the proper word for things For
Also, my genetics consist of from 60-75% Irish at least, most being directly from Ireland. I did an entire research prject about Knowth, Dowth, and Newgrange, and I'm even thinking of studying abroad in Ireland next spring or summer at Maynooth! When I was probably in middle school or so, my mom bought me an emerald Claddagh pendant necklace. Claddagh rings are a traditional Irish accessory (since 1700) symbolizing love, loyalty, and friendship, often used as engagement rings or given from mothers to daughters. Not only is it an awesome piece of heritage, but the Emerald is also my birthstone.
So, while to most people St. Patrick's is a day of parades, drinking, and celebrating a guy most people think got slithery little reptiles off an island, to me it will always be a day of traditions--old and new! I'd love to know if you guys have any wacky traditions or house rules you implement! Leave a comment below or tweet me @Alias_Lea, or really just talk to me on any social media! Have a great day, drink responsibly, and I'll see you all next time!! <3
|My Claddagh Necklace!|