St. Patrick’s Day
So today we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. A festive fun filled day for most of us that observe it in the United States and around the world. We celebrate the day on March 17th and I will tell you why later. So much fun happening on this day with parades and parties and festivals all over the place. And lets not forget about all the bars who make a total killing on this day. A day associated by many, with chugging as much beer and alcohol as they can possibly handle and then tossing it up on the street somewhere as they stumble to get home, but it’s a lot more than getting totally Sh&%$# faced. I think! LOL St. Patty’s day celebrates the Irish culture which is fun and loving and warm, at least for me it is. The color green is customary to wear as we all know. You can always find some Leprechaun costumes worn by the proud and the festive. The lucky clover can be seen all over the place as a symbol. Lunch and dinner are usually consist of Corned Beef and Cabbage with some boiled potatoes, a perfect compliment to a frosty mug of beer. But where did this tradition come from and why do we celebrate this day. Who is this Mr. St. Patrick and why is he honored. Well, I wanted to know and I did some research and found some fun and interesting things.
The humble saint was not actually Irish ironically, can you believe it, Who Knew? His parents were Italian and we don’t really know exactly where he was born. Some say Scotland, some say Wales, but we don’t have a definite answer. He was born to a fairly wealthy family and lived somewhat of a privileged life until the poor soul was kidnapped by Irish Pirates at a young age and brought to Ireland where he was a slave for years until he finally ran away and hopped on a ship back to England. He then traveled over to Europe. He felt a calling from God and decided to study religion in Rome. He was sent back to Ireland to spread the gospel and as you can imagine, it wasn’t well received, they even tried to stone the man. Terrible thing to do don’t you think? He preached using the shamrock as a symbol which represented The Father, The Son and Holy Spirit. This is why it’s still a symbol today. Thanks Mr. St. Patrick! He was a humble man and had no interest in material things in life, nothing like me, haha. and he wouldn’t accept gifts. He spent a lot of his time by himself in prayer. Good man right? Well, by the time he died on March 17th, he had converted most of Ireland to Christianity and upon his death the Pope declared him a saint and this is why we celebrate today.
So Why Do People Drink on this Day?
So, as you know there is tons of drinking on this day and sometimes it’s just gross, but there is a reason. When we are given an inch, we take a mile don’t we? On this day, Christians are given somewhat of a green pass. They are allowed to put aside their Lenten restrictions of eating meat and drinking alcohol on this day which is why there is excessive drinking. Then we go back to praying and being a good Christian on March 18th while we fight the Irish hangover next to the toilet bowl. That’s when we all really pray to take away the awful feeling. Such good Christians!
And What About The Food?
Corned Beef and Cabbage….hmmmmm, well, doesn’t really tempt my palette when I hear it. The meat itself is very cheap and a very tough, but, I must admit, when it’s cooked for hours with delicious spices. Then you add these bland vegetables and for some reason, I don’t know, maybe St. Patrick blesses the flavors or something, but… it simply melts in my mouth. I learned through my St. Patty’s research that it was the consumption of corned beef by the Irish-Americans that initiated its association with Ireland the St. Patricks Day holiday. Pairing it with an inexpensive vegetable like cabbage, which was easily available to the Irish immigrants and it was paired with the meat. So this is why it became the a signature dish on this day. Check out this link for a great and easy recipe for the traditional meal.
And What About That little leprechaun?
Evil or nice…
Don’t you just love Leprechauns? I do. They can be super cute, as I remember but sometimes they are portrayed as evil and scary little creatures. I prefer thecute little ones personally. But where did they come from and why are they a symbol. Let me tell you the story.
Leprechaun’s are fairies of Irish folklore. Originally, they were considered red in color, but as the Irish became more associated with green over the years, they too became green. They were solitary creatures spending most of their time making and mending shoes. According to some, their great wealth came from “treasure-crocks” buried in war time that they uncovered and appropriated. We always picture them as cute and innocent, but these little fairies in Irish tales are not the adorable ones we as most Americans think of. In the Irish tales, they are evil, devious & nasty creatures. Sounds like a few people I have known in my life for sure. Their magic is know to delight and impress you one day but could kill you the next, especially if you displeased them. They only stand 2-3 feet tall and are wizard like in their magical capabilities. Legend has it that if you were lucky enough to find and catch one, you could barter his freedom with treasures. You were granted 3 wishes. One was always warned to be extremely cautious, as the little creatures were known to trick and mislead.
For myself, I still think of my cute little green guy on the box of Lucky Charms as a kid. Oh how I would love to have three wishes, wouldn’t you? So, if you are drinking your frosty beer this St. Patty’s Day and find yourself a Leprechaun, consider yourself lucky!