Despite my family having roots in Ireland, I am yet to visit this stunning place. My green eyes have always been drawn to the emerald country, so until I get to visit, I will just celebrate the famous St. Patrick’s Day!
What started as a feast to honour Saint Patrick has evolved into a celebration of Ireland and all of its wonder.
Things may be a little quieter this Paddy’s Day, with social distancing and lock downs in place, so let’s take the opportunity to learn a little more about why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
The Legend of Saint Patrick
Interestingly, Saint Patrick was not born in Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped at sixteen years old and taken to Ireland to work as a slave.
He managed to escape slavery after six years and returned home to Britannia to live with his family. It was here where Saint Patrick became a Bishop.
One evening, Saint Patrick had a vision . . .
I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”. As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea – and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”
Saint Patrick returned to Ireland, bringing Christianity to the primarily Pagan country. He was said to be the first bishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland and is regarded as the founder of Christianity in Ireland.
Ever since, St. Patrick’s Day has been held on the anniversary of his death in honour of him.
As Green as the Leaves of a Shamrock
With shamrocks famously having three leaves, it is said that Saint Patrick would use these clovers as a tool to illustrate Christianity’s Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
On St. Patrick’s Day, people would wear these little shamrocks on their clothes in memory of his teachings. Nowadays, the tradition has evolved into celebrators wearing green clothing.
St. Patrick’s Day
During the first St. Patrick’s Days, the Christian people would hold a great feast, where Lenten food and alcohol restrictions were temporarily removed, hence why drinking has become synonymous with the holiday.
The world has seen a lot of changes since fifth century and over the years, St. Patrick’s Day has become more of a celebration of the beautiful country of Ireland itself.
Celebrated across the globe, St. Patrick’s Day was first introduced in America in the 1840s when the people of Ireland were forced to escape the potato famine.
To keep their Irish spirit alive, they held huge Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations which America embraced and still celebrate to this day.
Although this St. Patrick’s Day we may not be able to go down to the pub in fear of the dreaded coronavirus, we can still celebrate incredible Ireland from the comfort of our isolated homes.
I’ll be working away with some traditional Irish Folk songs in the background today and I might even treat myself to an Irish coffee at lunch!