As that old saying goes “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day“. Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular Irish holidays celebrated world wide by the Irish and non Irish a like. Saint Patrick’s Day is actually the Feast day of Ireland’s patron saint known as Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, also widely known as “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”). St. Patrick’s Day for the Irish is a popular cultural celebration as well as a religious celebration held on 17 March. The feast day of St. Patrick is the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461). Saint Patrick is the foremost patron saint of Ireland.
Who was Saint Patrick?
Saint Patrick was a Christian missionary and is regarded as the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick lived from AD 373–493, and ministered mostly in Northern Ireland from AD 433 until his death. Irish legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island of Ireland although Ireland never actually had snakes. Let’s just chalk that up to some poetic license. It has however been suggested that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the pagans also called the Druids. Saint Patrick is also credited with teaching the Irish about the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock and a three-leaved clover. Legend also says St. Patrick, while preaching Christianity, drew a cross through a Celtic circle symbolic of the moon Goddess. Hence the Celtic cross was born. Today the circle of the cross is viewed as a of God’s endless love.
New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Irish-American immigrants brought Saint Patrick’s Day to the United States. The first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. The first celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756. Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated by Irish and non-Irish alike. Regardless of ethnic background, everyone wears green-colored clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched. The NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade has become the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the world, outside Ireland. In 2006 more than 150,000 marchers participated in it, including Irish bands, Irish firefighters, Irish military and Irish police groups, county associations, Irish emigrant societies, Emerald Societies, and social and Irish cultural clubs, and it was watched by close to two million spectators lining the streets.
Why do we wear green on St Patrick’s Day?
Old Irish folklore says that wearing green makes one invisible to mischievous creatures like leprechauns, fairies who pinch those not wearing the green. As a matter of superstition people began pinching anyone not wear green as a reminder that leprechauns were lurking about.
The origin of the “wearing of the green” dress code for St Patrick’s Day dates can be dated to the 1798 Irish Rebellion, the major uprising against the British in Ireland. It was during this rebellion when the shamrock, a three leaf clover became a symbol of Irish nationalism.
Today many people adorn themselves with lucky shamrock jewelry on St. Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick’s Day jewelry such as Shamrock jewelry including shamrock earrings, and an Irish necklace like a shamrock necklace makes the perfect Irish accessory for the festive holiday.
Another symbol of Irish pride worn on St. Patrick’s Day is the Irish Harp. Irish harps are worn as Irish harp brooches and Irish harp necklaces. The Irish harp, although not as renowned as the shamrock is the official emblem of Ireland. The Irish harps status as the official insignia of Ireland dates centuries and the elegant instrument’s history tells much about the history of the Emerald Isle.