Why We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
We love a holiday that gives us a reason to celebrate. As time has gone on, St. Patrick’s day has lost its meaning to days of partying. It’s fun to wear all of the green, listen to the traditional music, and eat tons of great food. As you gear up to have fun with friends, keep in mind what the day is about.
History of St. Patrick’s Day
March 17th is the day that the Patron Saint of Ireland, Patrick, died. It’s now dedicated to him and his memory. He was born in England in 400 AD. At that time, England was part of the Roman Empire. He was captured and taken to Ireland when he was 16 years old. He escaped capture, but later returned to the country to convert over 450 people to Christianity. He is said to have used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Gospel Trinity. He’s also famed for supposedly driving snakes out of towns. The entire nation was converted to Christianity only 200 years after Patrick’s death. He changed the course of history forever with his acts as a bishop.
Originally, the holiday was celebrated with a feast. Over time, the immigrants that came from Ireland to the colonies continued celebrating, but it took on a debaucherous turn. The first city to actively celebrate the holiday was Boston in 1737. Later, NYC held their own parade in 1762, and so a tradition was born. Today, it’s known for Chicago’s green river, green beers, corned beef, potatoes, whiskey, and ushering in Spring.
The original Irish word for these creatures was “lobaircin”, which means “small-bodied fellow”. The Celtic tradition has a belief in fairies, magical powers, and small prankster men. Supposedly, these men tricked people out of their money, and then continued to do so to protect their treasures. Today’s modern rendition is a happy-go-lucky, portly man with red hair and a green outfit.
Originally, the Celts passed down knowledge through oral tradition. There were songs, poems, and sayings that still live on today to keep their culture alive. The music is made with traditional instruments, such as bagpipes, fiddle, and tin whistle. Their music is known for a sweet, melancholy tone that speaks to the emotional side of every person. Dance also became a form of musical expression by using stomping and rhythmic tapping.
Everyone is familiar with the corned beef. It’s also custom to serve it with cabbage, carrots, and red potatoes. You can also switch up the menu by serving shepherds pie, having blood pudding for breakfast, and having bread puddings for dessert. Of course, no St. Patrick’s Day would be complete without a hearty pint of Guinness to wash it all down.
Many immigrants relocated from Ireland to the Americas during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was their way of staying in touch with their roots and sharing their heritage with others. The Irish have made up a significant part of history of America. While you enjoy your St. Patrick Day’s celebration this year, keep in mind why we celebrate.