All around the world, March 17, is celebrated as St Patrick’s Day to honor the Irish Patron Saint, Saint Patrick who was the primary Patron Saint among two others named Saint Columban and Saint Brigit. Saint Patrick was not a born Irish, he has his ethnicity somewhere in England or Scotland which has no strong proof. He was considered Irish due to the services which he has done in Ireland and to the Irish community.
March 17th is the date when Saint Patrick died 2500 years ago. In earlier years March 17 was just observed as a religious feast which involved a trip to church, family gatherings and group prayers. Today, the day is a remarkable celebration in most parts of the world where people celebrate by conducting grand parades, music and dance shows, games, food and drink feast. The festival was associated only with Ireland till 1600s, later the festival became popular in many countries in Europe and America after the parades held in US by Irish immigrants. Today, the parades usually happen for a day long or for 4 -5 hours which narrates the entire Irish culture. The parade committee plan events and they choose a route in the main streets of the city. The parade also has bleachers from which the viewers can enjoy the amusing shows.
There are so many legends associated with the Saint Patrick. One of them is that St. Patrick used the three leaved shamrock to explain the idea of Trinity – which directs to the combination of Father, son and the Holy Spirit. Another legend says that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland and drowned them in the ocean. Hence the symbol of shamrock, snakes are all very significant on this day.
Though this day was initially a catholic holy day, it has later evolved into a more secular day, the one day when everyone becomes an Irish. Everyone wears green and paint themselves in green or as Irish flag. Women wear green dress or tops matched with emerald jewels and accessory. Some dress up a bit fanatic.
Men wear costumes like leprechaun and include the Irish symbols as a part of their costume. Leprechaun is a tiny fairy which is said to be very mischievous according to Irish tales. People got accustomed to wear green on this day due to several reasons. According to Irish tales, it is said that not wearing green would kindle the leprechauns to pinch the person; hence people wore green to refrain from leprechaun’s pinch.
Another reason is that the emerald shade is considered to be sacred to the Irish community and the country Ireland itself was otherwise called as ‘The Emerald Isle’. The green strip in the Irish flag also plays a vital role as it represents the Catholics of Ireland.
In all parts of the world, people cook genuine Irish dishes and relish the day. Corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda breads, Stews, cream cheese sugar cookies, colcannon and the day is majorly celebrated by drinking beers, Irish cream and other cocktails. Go green on this holy day and be a part of the positive energy. Happy St Patrick’s Day to all of you!