Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What's Up With This Holiday Anyway? Fun Facts you May Not Know About St. Patrick's Day!!

Well It's that time of year again, where we dig into our closet to find something green to wear.  The day Leprechauns cause all kinds of havoc in peoples homes.  The day we drink green beer and eat corned beef and cabbage.  This day has me scratching my head as to where in the world  these crazy traditions came from and why, so I did some research!!

The date (March 17th) commemorates the day St. Patrick died.  Believed to be March 17 461 A.D.  St. Patrick was mostly forgotten until around the 9th or 10th century when Mythology grew around this religious character and people in Ireland began observing St. Patrick's day as a feast day.

Now who was this St. Patrick dude you may ask?  St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the most popular Saints!  Born at Kilpatrick in Scotland, in the year 387.  As a teenager around 14 years of age he was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd sheep.  St. Patrick learned the language and practices of the people who held him.  St. Patrick's captivity lasted until he was around 20 years of age when he was able to escape after having a dream from God.  He was able to meet some sailors who brought him back home and reunited him with his family, only to return to Ireland after yet another dream and studying his priesthood.  Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years, working many miracles.  After years of living in poverty and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461 at Saul, where he built the first church.

Now that we know who St. Patrick was, what's up with the shamrock??  The Shamrock comes from the the Irish Gaelic word Seamrog. a word that refers to the plants three leaves.  The Shamrock a symbol of Ireland and St. Patrick's day is due to the over abundance of the clover plant all over the country, but also an association with Christianity.  St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock as a visual to the concept of the Trinity (the Father, The Son, And The Holy Spirit).

Now every year we have this pesky little Leprechaun who visits our home while we are sleeping and plays all kinds of tricks on my family!  We awake to our milk being green, sometimes gold dust adorns our hallway.  This year our pancake batter was turned green (without the liking of my teenager)!  She decided she would rather go to school hungry than eat anything that was green, but that's another story!!  Well the original Irish name for these small- bodied old men partaking in mischief is lobaircin, meaning small bodied fellow.  In Irish mythology, a leprechaun is a type of male fairy said to live in the isle of Ireland.  Leprechauns usually take the form of old men who enjoy in partaking in all kinds of mischief.  They are believed to be that of a cobbler or shoemaker.  They are believed to be very wealthy and have many buried pots of Gold and treasures.  They enjoy pinching anyone they see, but are unable to see the color green!!  

Like I said , he always leaves something behind to let us know he visited!!

Now many folks threw some corned beef and cabbage in their crocks pots before heading out the door this morning!  Yet another tradition for this 17th day in March!  Corned beef and cabbage however is really an American tradition, which originates from Irish Immigrants buying the meat from kosher butchers.  Corned beef and cabbage is essentially Jewish corned beef put in a pot with cabbage and potatoes.  The traditional St. Patrick's day feast in Ireland still use lamb or bacon.

 So in whatever way you choose to celebrate this day, May the luck of the Irish be with you!!!  Cheers

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