Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the liveliest, most anticipated and widely celebrated national holidays. Every year on March 17th, people from all walks of life tend to come together during parties, common gatherings, festivals and parades. This is no mundane event… oh no, St. Patty’s Day festivities seem to emanate exciting, profoundly joyous activities. However… this poses an interesting question. Do most of us actually know what we are celebrating?
Leprechauns are Shoe Fairies
It is true; leprechauns are mischievous, 2’ tall fairies. Being he stood around 6’, Saint Patrick was not a leprechaun, interesting as that could have been. It is with sadness I must transvers, he had no lucky stars, yellow moons and purple diamonds, nor is it likely he wore all green. His name was not even Patrick, but was actually, Maewyn Succat. He was just a man, much like us, but born into British nobility. At the age of 16, good ole’ St. Pat was kidnapped by a band of angry Irish raiders, and sold into slavery in Ireland. In some circles, it has been whispered that one of his ancestors “might” have dipped into a pot of gold, not his own. Shoe fairies have notorious tempers about such things.
St. Patty Truth and Lore Blur
Here is where he gets interesting, and the real treasures come into play. He was enslaved for six years as a shepherd, escaping to Britain, then France. He took 15 years for priestly ordainment, and then returned to Ireland as a missionary. Being familiar with the Irish, a crafty Maewyn combined Pagan and Christian symbols to form what we see today as the Celtic cross. This was part of his charm, the flexibility and incorporation of traditional Irish ritual. His renowned grew quickly. Legend, lore, reality and documentation all blur from this point on, including where the fabled Saint’s very bones rest. Stories range from; he ran the snakes from Irish lands, to joining the gods together in unity.
American Irish Tradition
Saint Patrick was obviously charismatic, and quite lucky. One could almost deem our celebrated Saint a priestly Robin Hood. He was born of nobility, sold to slavery, and reborn into the modest life of a priest. He made exemplary impressions, bringing tales of his glory across the oceans for centuries. Ireland has been paying homage to Saint Patrick for well over 1000 years, and we barely started in the 1970’s.
Must Love Green
We celebrate the color green and the shamrock almost religiously on St. Patty’s Day. Green is the holiday’s color, primarily as it stands for the Irish hills during the spring of his arrival there. If you don’t like green, just stay inside on March 17th, and leave the television off. The rest of us will be donning our favorite, “Kiss me, I’m Irish” shirts, and either hosting or attending, a party or a pub. There will be green beer, attire, food, napkins, décor and more, wherever we go.
We will drink, dance, dine and make general happy till the festivities end.
Parades and Parties a Plenty
At some point during Saint Patrick’s Day, there will be a parade. It might be on the big screen television in our man cave, or blocking the street on our way to get more beer. Rest assured, there will be large men in tiny cars, marching bands, and more people then we can count, in varying shades of green. It is a tradition in Ireland to wear a shamrock somewhere on the person, while attending any parade. In modern times we don’t often skip through the fields collecting a shamrock to wear, but we can accessorize easily enough with a pin, shirt, tie or button. It is the thought that counts.
Men in Kilts
The Kilt is a strong part of the Irish tradition embraced from the Gaels. Kilts appear almost like an extended version of a school uniform skirt. Men who wear kilts tend to be proud Irishmen, Scotsmen, or fraternity brothers. Never mock a gathering of kilted men.
Do Not Follow the Leprechaun
Leprechauns can be abundant during Saint Patrick’s Day gatherings and festivities. Men, women and children will dress in costume, put on makeup, and participate in whimsical face painting. Crowds can be filled with smiling faces, some with bright red, green or golden hair and beards. Usually, they will be sipping green beverages and enjoying the day’s events, just like us.
After a few of those green beverages, we can start to see things a bit differently. Regardless of how convincing we deem the leprechaun, we must resist following them to steal their pot of gold. Absolutely nothing good will come of this, trust me.
Celebrate Saint Patty’s Day Like an Irish Man
Saint Patrick might not have physically done all the legend states, but he did accomplish one thing. His lore is honored by the biggest, most peaceful, color oriented celebration in existence. That in itself takes a significant amount of luck.
When we celebrate Saint Patty’s Day on March 17th, we all have a chance to bring home some Irish luck. No leprechaun needed.
You could be this handsome on the March 17th