Quick! What comes to mind when you think of St. Patrick’s Day?
Did you think of green beer? Leprechauns? Shamrocks? Gold? Parades and pinches?
On St. Patrick’s Day everyone gets to be Irish and celebrate a very special man who actually wasn’t born in Ireland. St. Patrick was born probably somewhere in the southwest of England. Wales, most likely. He either had a very Roman sounding name, or a very Celtic name, but after he was kidnapped by pirates at the age of 16 and sold into slavery, he returned to England and entered a monastery. It was there he took the Latin name of Patrick.
Later in life he returned to Ireland because he had visions and heard voices telling him he needed to go and serve the people there. It’s said he chased all the snakes out of Ireland, but here’s a little fun fact: Ireland never had any snakes! Now that’s a place I could call home. Snakes freak me out.
If there weren’t any snakes, then how did that little rumor get started? It’s most likely a metaphor for St. Patrick chasing paganism from the land. Back in the day Ireland was a wild land with Druids and pagans running rampant. Over time, many of the pagan beliefs were modified to have a Christian slant to them.
Like the Shamrock.
The Druids believed the Shamrock was a sacred symbol formed by its three leaves. Yeah, I know this little guy has four leaves, that’s because a four-leaf clover is thought to bring you good fortune.
The Druids believed the three leaves represented: Trust in your soul, Belief in your heart, and Faith in your mind.
The Christians thought the leaves of the Shamrock made a cross and represented the Holy Trinity. Shamrocks were worn by St. Patrick on the first feast day and have since become a national symbol for Ireland. Not too shabby for a tiny little clover.
If you’re in luck on St. Patrick’s Day, you might catch a Leprechaun. Of course, Leprechauns are grumpy and solitary beings that don’t like other Faeries all that much and humans even less. If you’re lucky enough to catch one, you can force him to tell you were he hides his gold, but they are tricksy little buggers, those Leprechauns! If you look away for even a moment, he’ll disappear and take all the treasure with him.
The best way to find a Leprechaun is to follow a rainbow or listen for the sound of the shoemaker’s hammer. Leprechauns are the official shoemakers for other Faeries, that’s why they are often seen wearing green aprons. Who knew!
Whether you go out to a parade and drink green beer, or stay in and have some corned beef with cabbage,
May the Leprechauns be near you
To spread luck along your way
And may all the Irish Angels
Smile upon you St. Patrick’s Day!
Beannachtai na feile Padraig
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with gifts of gold? Elena Aitken shares a sweet story of her children’s Leprechaun Traps and what happened the following year.
When you were a child, did your parents make St. Patrick’s Day special? Susie Lindau’s parents did! Now that she’s an adult, she’s got a haunting story and recipe for a drink you don’t want to skip this St. Patrick’s Day. One word: Baileys. YUM!
Before you get into your car on St. Paddy’s Day, make sure you plan ahead! Natalie Hartford has a quick 30 second video to remind you.
Got any good St. Patrick’s Day ghost stories or a super fabulous corned beef recipe you’d like to share? Go ahead! On March 17th, everyone is Irish.