St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, died on 17 March 461 AD and the day has been celebrated ever since. St. Patrick spent thirty years building and setting up ministries and places of worship all around Ireland.
Since the earliest centuries of Christianity, it has been a custom to celebrate the anniversary of saints' deaths. This allows believers to honor the saint's accomplishments and celebrate their entry into heaven. A "feast day" is designated for every saint, even when the exact date of death of a saint is not known.
St. Patrick was a fifth-century English (or perhaps Scottish) missionary to Ireland. Scholars agree he is a historical figure and that he converted many of the pagans on the island to Christianity, but dismiss most of the legend that has developed about him over the centuries.
The feast day of St. Patrick has been observed in Ireland on March 17 for hundreds of years. The date falls during the fasting season of Lent, but on St. Patrick's Day the prohibitions against eating meat were lifted, and the Irish would celebrate their patron saint with dancing, drinking, and feasting on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
One of the most widespread of today's St. Patrick's Day celebrations, the St. Patrick's Day parade, began not in Ireland but in America. It consisted of Irish soldiers serving in the English army and took place in New York City on March 17, 1762. The parade helped the soldiers connect with their Irish roots and their fellow Irishmen. In 1848, several Irish Aid societies in New York decided to combine their parades into a single St. Patrick's Day Parade. This parade is the oldest and the largest civilian parade.
Today, Irish expatriates, those of Irish descent, and ever-growing crowds of people with no Irish connections whatsoever celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
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Not surprisingly, the origin of St. Patrick's day has a lot to do with a man named Saint Patrick. He was supposedly born in the late fourth century with the given named Maewen. Until he was sixteen years old, he considered himself a pagan. He was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. While he was a captive, he became closer to God. He escaped after six years and went to Gaul where he studied in a monastery for twelve years. There he came to believe that his calling was to convert pagans to Christianity. He wanted to return to Ireland, but his superiors appointed St. Palladius instead. Two years later, however, he transferred to Scotland. Patrick was then appointed as the second bishop to Ireland. Because he was successful at winning converts, the Celtic Druids arrested him several times, but he escaped anyway. He established monasteries across the country, and set up schools and churches. He described himself as a "humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshiped idols and unclean things had become the people of God."
There are more legends than facts about him, one of which tells about how he drove the snakes from Ireland. It is true that there are no snakes there, but there probably never were any. In pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and worshiped, so it was most likely symbolic of putting the end to pagan practice. He stayed there for about thirty years. He was the patron saint and the national apostle of Ireland. No one knows for sure how he died. One says that he died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland on March 17, 460 A.D. Another account says he died at Glastonbury, England, and was buried there. The chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. The first St. Patrick's day took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Over the next thirty-five years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished. When they got together to have their parades and parties, newspapers made fun of them, but they soon realized that their numbers gave them power. Political hopefuls began to pay attention to them because of the large numbers of votes they could receive, and they went to St. Patrick's Day parades.
In 1948, President Truman attended New York City's parade. Saint Patrick's Day has become associated with everything Irish, green, gold, shamrocks, and luck. For people who celebrate it for spiritual reasons, it is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries. It is celebrated on March 17th because that is the day that St. Patrick died. The holiday is observed all around the world, but especially, of course, in Ireland. Almost all businesses other than restaurants and pubs close, and many Irish attend mass. In American cities with a large Irish population, they celebrate with parades, wearing green, music and songs, Irish food and drink, and activities for kids like crafts, coloring, and games. Some communities even dye rivers or streams green. In some places, if you forget to wear green, other people are allowed to pinch you as a friendly reminder. If someone pinches someone who is wearing green, however, they get to pinch the other person ten times.
I guess I get where this can be confusing, because both are clovers, but it’s pretty clear: A shamrock has three leaves, and a four-leaf clover has, well, four.
Though there are around 300 species of clover, a shamrock isn't one of them—in fact, it could be any of them. Any type of clover that typically has three leaves can be considered a shamrock. The shamrock is the main symbol of St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish because it’s supposedly what St. Patrick used to illustrate the concept of the Holy Trinity. Four-leaf clovers, on the other hand, are just freaks of nature in those same species of clover.
It's thought that the pinching started in the early 1700s, about the time that awareness of St. Patrick's as a holiday came to the fore, too, in Boston, in the Massachusetts colony. They thought if you wore green, it made you invisible to the Leprechauns, which was good because they would pinch anyone they could see. So the pinching is to warn and remind you about the Leprechauns.
Pinching those not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is an American tradition, having really nothing to do with Ireland or St. Patrick Wrong. I have lived in Ireland. The truth is, Irish people think Americans are crazy. St. Patrick's Day is not even remotely celebrated over there as heavily as it is in the US.
WikiAnswers users share their ideas on the origin:
The odds of finding a four-leaf clover are 1/10,000 or 0.01%. So if you're feeling lucky, remember the odds. Never tell me the odds. -Hon Solo
For the Celtic Druids, three was a religiously mystical number. They regarded the shamrock as a sacred plant because its leaves formed a triad.
An enduring story of St. Patrick holds that the shamrock was used by him, to help illustrate the Holy Trinity. Through its use he was able to increase people's understanding of God and church, and how they were connected. St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to symbolize how The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit can be separate but also part of the same entity. However, though the story is persistent, it remains a myth for lack of corroborating evidence or support.
One of the reasons that one wears green on St. Patrick's Day is because the Catholic side of Ireland is identified with green, and St. Patrick is a Catholic Saint credited with converting the island to Christianity. Whereas the Protestants are identified with orange, and are often called "Orangemen," as in King William the Orange. The clashes in Ireland between the Catholics and Protestants are often clashes of the green and the orange. The irony is that the Irish flag, is supposed to represent the unity of the two with the white between the two colors representing unity. The traditional pinching of a person who wears orange on St. Patrick's Day is a mild form of the violence that has so often occurred in the past as both factions have had St. Patrick's Day marches/parades. In Ireland, you only wear green if you are Catholic. Protestants all wear orange. The US does not observe this tradition. The day is celebrated with parades, green beer and lots of shamrock decorations. On St. Paddy's day, everyone is Irish.
History: Just before the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland if you wore a shamrock in your hat, it signified your support for the Rebellion. Hence the saying "the wearing of the green." Green was also the colour of "Society of United Irishmen," a republican revoluntionary organisation. This organisation launched the 1798 Rebellion and may I add that the forefathers/founders of this Organisation, despite public misconception were a mixture of Presbyterians, Church of Ireland and Catholics.
Another answer: The wearing of Green stems from the ancient Celtic practice of wearing green during the Vernal Equinox to celebrate the rebirth of the Earth. When Christianity invaded Ireland, many of the Irish traditions were adopted into practice, to make conversion easier. Saint Patrick included using bonfires and adopted the symbol of the sun onto the cross, creating what is now known as the Celtic Cross. Since the local Pagan population was hesitant to give up wearing green, that too was adopted. It should be noted that St. Patrick's original color was blue.
In honor of St. Patrick and his symbol is a clover and clovers are green and if you don't you get pinched unless your birthday is that day. Also because St. Patrick's day kiss the day of luck and green is a lucky color.
The reason the color green is associated with St. Patrick's Day is the origin of the holiday is Ireland. Ireland is a very green place henceforth the green.
Green is the color of Ireland (often called "The Emerald Isle"), the color of shamrocks, the official "Irish" color, as it were.
"The Wearing of The Green" was written by a Dubliner, Dion Boucicault (1820-1890). After America's revolution, the Irish thought it was time for their own independence. The color greem became a symbol of sympathy for Irish independence and the British actually began executing persons found wearing anything green. See the lyrics to the son on that web site, too. I haven't been able to verify this statement as fact and I can't find a more exact time-line for the writing of the song.
The song Wearing of the Green was made because Irish people would burn the color red because they hated England so British soldiers would shoot peolple wearing the color green.
"The wearing of the green" refers to the Irish green plaid on kilts and other items of clothing. The English considered this a sign of active nationalism or separatism and, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, methods of stopping that were simple. The attitude was, "If you are wearing the green, you are siding with the troublemakers, disturbing the equilibrium of our landowners and governors, ie., you are a terrorist and shall be dealt with".
"The Wearing of the Green" is a song that follows the tune of an O'carolan air, the origins of which are unknown. The lyrics were written to relate the British practice of hanging any Irishman/woman who wore green in a patriotic manner during a certiain Irish rebellion(as to which, I don't know). Many more sets of lyrics were written later on, including "Rising of The Moon", which relates the Rebellion of 1798. The tune was even present in Civil-War America, as "The Army of the Free".
The English would execute any irishman or irishwoman who was caught wearing green, or displaying green as a banner or flag, because the color green was used as a symbol of Irish patriotism, and supporters of the rebellion used it. The time of this was probably in the late 1770's through the mid 1790's. In 1798 the Irish finally rebelled against the English because of the tyranny and opression they faced every day by the hands of the English. .
According to legend of western cultures, each of the four leaf clovers represent one theme.
No it's not. The four leaf clover is symbolic of Luck. As it's an uncommon variation of the normal three leaf clover, finding one is considered lucky.
Here are some additional historical facts with a link to an interesting article:
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig
It is celebrated all over the world but it started in Ireland
St Patrick's day is celebrated all over the world but the best craic is always in Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day is now associated with everything Irish, from the colour green to shamrocks, good luck to Guinness! However the color of Saint Patrick is blue!!
However, its true meaning is as a time-honoured day for spiritual regeneration and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.
St Patrick's day is always celebrated on the 17th March. Many believe St Patrick died on this day. The day is a religious holiday, so along with many businesses closing for the day (with the exception being restaurants and pubs), many Irish people attend mass.
In many cities and towns, all over the world, with an Irish population, St. Patrick's Day is a day to party! The people of Ireland often attend church in the morning and then get together and party in the afternoon.AnswerThe true meaning is to honor and celebrate St. Patrick
yes. a polygon is a three or more sided figure with connected but not intersecting sides
you scream, "hey i found a four-leaf clover!" Fold it in the phone book and wait for it to dry, then put it in your wallet. This way you will always feel lucky
Not in Ireland anyway. Nobody would dream of fouling good beer with green dye, and since lots of people drink Guinness, which is black, it would be pretty hard to do anyway.AnswerThis is purely American in origin. Some person, most likely not Irish at all decided to desecrate beer in the name of St. Patrick. Real classy. Then with plenty of help from slimy news types it took off. Now it's apart of American holiday tradition. Which is of course, take something and change it into something opposite of what it use to be. And it helps when there is a excuse to drink. Any excuse to drink is the sure fire bet into American tradition. Like football and nascar. AnswerNot necessarily purely American. Several years ago in Poland, I was out with a friend who ordered a beer (a lager) plus a small glass of Curacao. He poured the Curaco into the beer, producing a slightly sweeter and GREEN beer. Quite a nice drink -- don't remember what he called. it. AnswerThat's an American tradition. You'll find that most Irish people don't like the concept of turning lesser American beers green and calling it Irish. If you want to properly celebrate St. Patrick's, find a good Irish beer you like and raise a glass. AnswerAn origin I heard of was the Irish celebrate St Paddy's day with so much fury that their stock of beer is depleted having them resort to drinking "green beer". A term to brewers meaning beer that is not ready to drink.
Sadly, this is most likely an American invention. It is another example of how many of my fellow Irish-Americans are completely clueless about their own ancestry and have turned it into a cheap and cartoonish industry of Leprechauns, Shillelaghs and Green things. Half of them are probably Scots-Irish and don't understand the difference.
It sounds like an American creation rather than Irish.
How to celebrate St. Patrick's Day:
The Celts called their idea of heaven "Green Erin" a nickname eventually given to Ireland. Green is the symbolic color of St. Patrick's Day because of his ministry as the 2nd Bishop to Ireland, also known as the "Emerald Isle" due to the lush ground cover of clover over the entire country, and because of Patrick's creation of the Order of the Green martyrs-those who were missionaries to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Briton. St. Patrick was also known for being the first to use the Irish 3 leaf clover, also called the Shamrock, or Tri-foil, as an illustration of the doctrine of the Trinity. More information: The Irish don't wear green as such. The colour is used on flags, banners, team colours etc. traditional colour - first Irish flag, represents St. Patrick etc. It seems to be more of a stereo type. In films etc
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