Monday, March 3, 2014

Will you be pinched??....

St. Patrick's Day Shirts, Accessories, Flasks and more! People all over the world celebrate on the 17th day of March in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Some cities have parades, most revelers wear green, and a few families will celebrate with traditional Irish fare for their meal. However, not everyone may know who St. Patrick is.
St. Patrick was Born in Britain during the 4th century, St. Patrick was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish raiders when he was a teenager. Although he was able to escape after six years and become a priest in Britain.  St. Partick later chose to return to Ireland as a missionary, in order to help spread the teachings of Christianity to pagans. According to Irish folklore, he also used a shamrock to explain the Christian concept of Trinity to the Irish. In spite of continuous opposition from pagan leaders, he continued to evangelize for thirty years while baptizing newly converted Christians and establishing monasteries, churches, and schools. St. Patrick died on March 17th and was canonized by the local church.
St. Patrick's Day was first publicly celebrated in Boston in 1737 where a large population of Irish immigrants resided. Nearly 200 years later, the first St. Patrick's Day parade in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931. During the mid 90's, the Irish government also began a campaign to promote tourism in Ireland on March 17th.
While many Catholics still quietly celebrate this day of religious observance by going to mass, St. Patrick's Day slowly evolved to become a celebration of Irish heritage. Through the years, along with legendary shamrocks, many symbols were included in festivities that are reflective of Ireland's folklore, culture, and national identity (think leprechauns, ethnic cuisine, and wearing green). Other places that join in on this celebration include Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada, along with many cities across the United States.
  • Wearing green: Tradition holds that if you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, a leprechaun will sneak up and pinch you. Green represents Ireland, otherwise known as the Emerald Isle because of the country’s lush, green scenery. Green is also one of the three colors on the flag of Ireland, which was adopted in 1919. Green represents the native people of Ireland. Orange stands for the British supporters of William of Orange, who settled in Northern Ireland in the 17th century. The white in the center of the flag represents peace between these two groups of people. Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is a tradition that was popularized by Irish immigrants in the United States. By wearing green, a person becomes invisible to sneaky leprechauns. Today, nearly one-half of all Americans wear green on St. Patty’s Day to show their commitment to Ireland.
  • Shamrocks and lucky four-leaf clovers: According to St. Patrick’s Day lore, Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today, people use shamrocks to symbolize the annual holiday. The folklore for four-leaf clovers differs from that of the shamrock due to the fact that it has no religious allusions associated with it. It is believed that each leaf of a four-leaf clover represents something different: first is hope, the second is faith, the third is love, and the fourth is happiness. Although clovers are most often found in nature with three leaves, rare four-leaf clovers do exist. Legend says that if you find one, good luck will come your way.
  • Leprechauns and pots of gold: According to legend, fairies gave leprechauns golden coins as payment for their hard work. The pint-sized leprechauns stored their coins in large pots – the famous “pots of gold” often associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Follow a leprechaun and you could discover where he’s hidden his treasure.Shop St. Patrick's Day Gear

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