Saint Patrick’s Day

Every year on 17 March the world wears green and organizes parades in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. But what was once a religious holiday is now a commercialized celebration.

Saint Patrick is a Catholic saint, bishop and a patron saint of Ireland. Born in 385 in Wales in a very religious family, Patrick couldn’t care less about religion or his studies. He lived a happy life until, one day, when he was 16 years old a group of Irish pirates kidnapped him and sold him into slavery to Ireland. He spent his days working as a shepherd and it was there that he turned to God for help and guidance and became religious. After six years of slavery, Patrick heard a voice telling him he would be freed. That was when he ran away and found his way back to Britain where he prepared for becoming a priest. According to the legend, one night in his sleep he heard a voice of an Irishman who gave him a letter that said “Please come back and be with us again”. He realized this was God’s wish and he went back to Ireland where he peacefully spread Christianity and founded monasticism. There are many other legends about saint Patrick. One of the more popular ones is that he banished all snakes and poisonous animals out of Ireland so that’s the reason there are no snakes there, still to this day. It is believed he died in an Irish town Down on 17 March 461.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Saint Patrick’s Day was originally a small holiday for Irish families. They would go to church in the morning and spent the rest of the day relaxing together at home. Today, however, Saint Patrick’s Day is everything except peaceful and quiet. Countries organize grand parades, everybody dresses up in bright green, sometimes they even color the beer green. It is very interesting to point out that the first parade wasn’t even held in Ireland but in Boston in 1737. It wasn’t until the 20 century that they started celebrating it in today’s tradition.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

It is also interesting that the signature color green wasn’t always associated with saint Patrick. First it was blue but the origins are still quite unexplained. Also, another very recognizable symbol is a shamrock because it was believed that Patrick used a shamrock to describe the Holy Trinity to the Irish. Besides Ireland, England and other UK countries, Saint Patrick’s Day is also celebrated in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Switzerland, Japan and Korea, Australia and many others including Croatia. So, whether you celebrate or not, male sure to wear that green dress you’ve been waiting to put on since you bought it and go for a fun night out in the town. And also, happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Written by Tea Toplak

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