St. Patrick’s Day celebrated on or around March 17 remembers St. Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. It’s been quite a time since the celebrations have spread all over the world. Originally a religious feast day, today it is a great celebration of Irish culture and a tribute to traditions. In the run-up to the day, let’s find out the history and fascinating facts behind it!
St. Patrick was the missionary who brought Christianity to pagan Ireland in the Vth century. March 17 is believed to be the day he died.
Why shamrock? It’s believed that St Patrick explained the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish using this three-leaved plant.
Why green? Actually, the original color associated with Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day was a light shade of blue. It was not till late XVIIIth century when in the course of the rebellion in 1798 against British rule green became to be associated with Irish nationalism as Irish soldiers were wearing green fighting against British red coats. From the famous song of that time – “The Wearing of the Green» - the tradition to wear green in solidarity developed.
Who celebrates? It’s a kind of national day celebrated by the Irish population all over the world. The first official St Patrick's Day parade was held in Dublin in 1931. It’s a public holiday in Northern Ireland and Ireland, some provinces in Canada, and Montserrat. Celebrations also take place in Malta, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and the USA.
Why drinking beer? March 17 falls during the 6-week Lent and on the day all the restriction vanish and one can enjoy everything one likes, but only for one day. Plus, in 1970, this day became a national holiday, so pubs don’t have to be closed anymore as they used to be when St. Patrick’s Day was strictly religious.
Some interesting facts. Since 1961, the Chicago River is turned emerald green every year to celebrate the day.
Do you believe in Leprechauns? Those are little men with beards and pots of gold. They’re shoemakers and guess what – drink heavily and wear green. If you’re lucky enough to spot one of them or get close to, do your best to catch him and, if you’re bold enough, demand three wishes in return for his freedom. But be careful, the wizened old men are cunning. No surprise your wishes can be turned into a complete mess. In traditional folklore, there’re no female Leprechauns despite all those lovely decorations.
“Erin go Bragh.” means "Ireland Forever."
Hopefully, you’re now a bit more prepared to start celebrating and have a deeper understanding of what is behind the holiday. And don’t forget to choose some amazing cards for your friends and family. SEVAZH is packed with sham-rocking greeting cards – just check it out! Wish you a wonderful day and a lovely pot of gold!
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