St. Patrick’s Day, a global celebration of Irish culture, particularly marks the life and deeds of St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints.
Many people wear an item of green clothing on the day. Parties featuring Irish food and drinks that are dyed in green food color are part of this celebration. It is a time when children can indulge in sweets and adults can enjoy a “pint” of beer at a local pub.
Many restaurants and pubs offer Irish food or drink, which include:
- Irish brown bread.
- Corned beef and cabbage.
- Beef and Guinness pie.
- Irish cream chocolate mousse cake.
- Irish coffee.
- Irish potato champ, also known as poundies, cally or pandy.
- Irish stew.
- Irish potato soup.
Some people plan a pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory, which is commonly associated with penance and spiritual healing since the early 13th century. It is on Station Island in Lough Derg in County Donegal where St Patrick had a vision promising that all who came to the sanctuary in penitence and faith would receive a pardon for their sins.
St Patrick’s Day is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) and the Republic of Ireland. St Patrick’s Day is also a festive occasion in some parts of the world where it is not a public holiday.
The most common St Patrick’s Day symbol is the shamrock. Many people choose to wear the color green and the flag of the Republic of Ireland is often seen in St Patrick’s Day parades around the world. Irish brands of drinks are popular at St Patrick’s Day events.
Religious symbols include snakes and serpents, as well as the Celtic cross. Some say that Saint Patrick added the sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross. Other Irish-related symbols seen on St Patrick’s Day include the harp, which was used in Ireland for centuries, as well as a mythological creature known as the leprechaun and a pot of gold that the leprechaun keeps hidden.
Here’s hoping you find your pot of gold today!
St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts
Montreal boasts the longest running and largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in North America; the Canadian city has not missed the event since 1824.
Careful not to blink — the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, in Ireland’s County Cork. The big event lasts 100 yards and travels between the town’s two pubs.
Those who don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day must beware. In the 1700s, people who forgot to wear green got pinched by their peers. Why? Legend has it that wearing green on March 17 renders one invisible to leprechauns and fairies. Garbed in any other color, they could see and pinch the only thing visible. Peers started pinching those who forgot to wear green as a warning that the leprechauns could see them, sneak up on them and work their mischief.
Leprechauns are the only faerie that maintains a trade: they are shoemakers.
Excerpts courtesy of:
Potency News and timeanddate.com