The Lowdown: St Patty's Day
The shamrock, green bagel filled holiday is upon us. St. Patrick’s Day that is. We all celebrate this holiday by wearing green, drinking Shamrock shakes and fun parades. But, do we know how this holiday originated? We’re gonna get a little religious up in here: be ware. It all started with, who else, Saint Patrick! St. Patrick was born around 387 C.E. in Scotland and turned to God once he was kidnapped by slave traders and brought to Ireland to be a Shepard. He wasn’t even Irish, who would have thought! He joined the priesthood after his escape at the age of twenty, and then became a bishop. He was faced with the mission to convert all of Ireland to Christianity; despite this unruly task he was successful. “Yeah, that’s great” (sarcasm) you are probably thinking. How did this turn into a holiday? Well, St. Patrick’s Day started off as a Roman Catholic holiday, which recognized St. Patrick. Soon after, it was brought to America by Irish immigrants as a way to affirm their identities.
Now, onto the fun stuff, how did parades, leprechauns and shamrocks become associated with the holiday?
Parades: At first this holiday was celebrated with banquets in notable cities such as Boston, Philly, NYC, Charleston and Savannah. But when NYC decided to host the first St. Patty’s Day parade in 1762 the parade tradition became a keeper.
Shamrocks: It is said that St. Patrick used the three-leaved Shamrock to explain the Christian Holy Trinity. How true this is may be arguable.
Leprechauns: Stemming from the word “luchorpan” meaning “little body.” This word was first used to describe water spirits. Interesting, yet, that may be a myth; today we just know leprechauns are little guys in green uniforms that come from Irish folklore.
Yay for being educated about holidays! Now you can really celebrate the true meaning behind St. Patty’s Day!