Facts about St. Patrick’s Day
It’s March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, and a lot of celebrations are going on. But what exactly are people celebrating? Time and distance has a way of making facts obscure, so let’s revisit a few:
St. Patrick’s Day is…
1. The celebration of the death of St. Patrick (c. AD 385-461), the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick, also called the Apostle of Ireland, was the bishop of Ireland and a missionary. He was not Irish, but is honored due to his service to Ireland. It is believed (there is some dispute) that he was born to Roman parents in South Wales, was taken slave in Ireland and spent nearly six years in prison there. He escaped to Britain, then to France, where he entered a monastery and studied under St. Germain, but St. Patrick felt Ireland calling him back. He returned as a cleric and served the country. It’s also said he put the Curse of God on venomous snakes in Ireland, drove them into the sea, and they drowned.
2. Originally, St. Patrick’s Day was known as The Day of the Festival of St. Patrick. Through the years, it’s morphed into St. Patrick’s Day or even St. Paddy’s Day, and is celebrated internationally by the Irish and those who have the heart of the Irish.
3. People, cities and towns like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Savannah, often hold parties, parades, and wear lots of green. (If you don’t wear green, prepare to be pinched!) You also see a lot of shamrocks and a lot of drinking.
4. Many Irish are Catholic and St. Patrick’s Day occurs during lent. If during lent, one has foregone alcohol, one is permitted to drink on St. Patrick’s Day for the feast and celebration.
5. In some places, water is dyed green, like Chicago with its river, and fountains in numerous places, including the White House. Some also dye beer green.
6. The reason green is so significant is due to the shamrock. St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity. And it, of course, is green.
7. In Ireland, the celebration is a religious feast event. While it became a holiday in 1903, the first official festival wasn’t until 1996. Along with reverent religious services, there are street celebrations and cultural events.
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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest releases are: The Marked Star and In Case of Emergency: What You Need to Know When I Can’t Tell You (nonfiction). She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. KNOW IT FIRST! Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!