Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone. Hopefully you’re all having an amazing day celebrating all things Irish.
I also hope you’re wearing green. You don’t want to get pinched, do you?
A lot of the traditions and customs of St. Paddy’s Day confuse me. Who comes up with these things? This is why I love Google. I can get an answer to almost anything with a few keystrokes.
St. Paddy’s Day takes place on the anniversary of Saint Patrick’s death. Saint Patrick was a British-Roman slave who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. He’s now considered the primary patron saint of Ireland.
He’s best known for banishing the snakes from Ireland…. although snakes never lived there. The story is thought to be a metaphor for Saint Patrick driving out pagan religions like The Druids, who used a lot of snake symbolism.
According to Wikipedia, he used shamrocks (they have three leaves, not four!!) to teach people about the Holy Trinity. That’s the reason three-leaf-clovers are such a big part of St. Paddy’s Day.
In the Catholic Community of Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is a ‘Holy Day of Obligation.’ That basically means that they must attend mass. Many other people celebrate the day as a secular holiday by celebrating Ireland. They wear the national colors, green and orange, eat and drink green and Irish food, and sometimes enjoy Irish Alcohol.
I’m not Irish (although I am rockin red hair lately!), but I am wearing an awesome green shirt, drinking green wine, and about to enjoy some corned beef with cabbage, Guinness gravy, and Irish soda bread. I love going all out for holidays like this!
I still haven’t answered my original question, though. Why do we pinch people who don’t wear green? Here’s an explanation from the Christian Science Monitor:
Forgot to wear green on St. Patty’s Day? Don’t be surprised if you get pinched. No surprise, it’s an entirely American tradition that probably started in the early 1700s. St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.
Interesting. Bring up the leprechauns opens a whole other can of worms. Who are they and why do they hide their gold at the end of the rainbow?
I’ll just stop here, though, because this could go on for a while. I have enough curiosity to kill a thousand cats!
Do you celebrate St. Paddy’s Day? If you do, how do you celebrate?