Happy St Patrick’s Day or should I say Happy Maewyn Succat Day!

Happy St Patrick’s Day or should I say

Happy Maewyn Succat Day!

 Saint Patrick – The Missionary and Bishop of Ireland

St. Patrick, or the “Apostle of Ireland,” actually started out in the pagan religion. While not much is known about his early life, as many of his life’s details were lost to folklore, letters from St. Patrick reveal that he was captured in Wales, Scotland, or another close area outside of Ireland and taken to Ireland as a slave. Years later, he escaped and returned to his family, who were Romans living in Britain, going back to Ireland for mission work after finding a place as a cleric and then Bishop within the Christian faith. He was born around 460, and by the 600s, he was already known as the Patron Saint of Ireland.

There are many legends associated with St. Patrick. The symbol of the shamrock used for St. Patrick’s Day comes from the story of St. Patrick using the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed plant coincided with the Pagan religion’s sanctity of the number three and is the root of the greencolor theme.

Another popular belief is that St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland. The story says that while St. Patrick was fasting, snakes attacked him, so he chased all snakes into the ocean. However, there have never been snakes in Ireland during the post-glacial period. The absence of snakes and symbolism involved with snakes is believed to explain the story, although it could have been referring to type of worm rather than snakes. One legend has St. Patrick sticking a walking stick into the ground while evangelizing, which turned into a tree.

 The History of St. Patrick’s Day and why it’s celebrated.

St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in 1737, organized by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston, including a feast and religious service. This first celebration of the holiday in the colonies was largely to honor and celebrate the Irish culture that so many colonists had been separated from.

Early celebrations continued this modest tradition. In New York, the first celebration took place as a small gathering at the home of an Irish protestant. St. Patrick’s Day parades started in New York in 1762 by a group of Irish soldiers in the British military who marched down Broadway. This began the tradition of a military theme in the parade, as they often feature marching military unites. The holiday eventually evolved from the modest religious dinner into the raucous holiday we know today.

 Trivia to share over a pint!

  • The city of Chicago goes so far to celebrate that they dye their river green.
  • Green is associated withSaint Patrick’s Day because it is the color of spring, of Ireland, and of the shamrock.
  • In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday similar to Christmas and Easter.
  • Erin go Braghtranslates to “Ireland forever.”
  • There are 33.7 million U.S. residents who are of Irish ancestry. That number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself

7 crazy St Patrick’s Day traditions around the globe:

  1. Hot Springs, Arkansas takes pride in hosting the shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade. All 98 feet of Bridge Street, which was named the shortest street in the world by “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” is used for celebrations with Irish Elvis impersonators, a middle-age troupe called Lards of the Dance and other attractions.
  2. Each year, members of the Shamrock Club in New London,Wisconsin dress up as leprechauns and change highway signs so the town name reads New Dublin. The town’s typical population numbers about 7,000, but New Dublin draws around 30,000 people on St. Patrick’s Day. Festivities include bagpipe players, a Finnegan’s Wake that involves a green hearse and Celtic bands playing in Irish Fest.
  3. For more than 40 years, the Chicago River has been dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day. After the river is colored by an eco-friendly powdered vegetable dye, it can take several days for the green to dissipate.
  4. The Irish capital of Nebraska, O’Neill, has a painted four-leaf clover in the middle of the road where Route 281 and Highway 20 meet. The signwelcomes visitors and tells them of the town’s deep Irish roots.
  5. John O’Neill, the town’s namesake, was an Irishman who served in the Civil War. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations include demonstrations by a hypnotist and a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.” Celebrating Irish heritage is more than a once-a-year festival, so residents wear green on the 17th of every month
  6. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Montserrat. The Caribbean island has both rich Irish and African heritage, and March 17 also marks the anniversary of a slave uprising in 1768. (Slavery was abolished in 1834.)

The annual festivities include masked street dancers, a tradition that blends African and              European cultural elements.

  1. Brisbane, Australia hosts a big bash every year for St. Paddy. The Queensland Irish Association parade celebrates Australia’s immigrant (and convict)history, so Aussies gather dressed up as people sent to build a nation. They portray widows and orphans, miners, teachers and everyone in between.

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Source: http://www.wilstar.com/holidays/patrick.htm

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