St. Patrick's Day
Who is St. Patrick?
Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is actually the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick.
St. Patrick is actually not even from Ireland. He was born in Britain around the year 387 AD. When he was young he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland where he was sold as a slave. He eventually made it home to Britain and decided to devote his life to God.
Patrick eventually returned to Ireland as a Catholic Bishop. He is credited with doing many great deeds and with bringing Christianity to the Irish people. He is believed to have died on March 17th in the year 461. This is why his feast day, also known as St. Patrick’s Day, is celebrated on the 17th of March.
Belief in leprechauns stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure.
St. Patrick’s Day is a Catholic holiday, which leprechauns have nothing to do with. The cheerful Americanized leprechaun came about when Walt Disney released Darby O’Gill & the Little People in 1959.
The shamrock was once a sacred plant which symbolized the rebirth of Spring. When the English began to take over Ireland, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride in there heritage.
Another reason the shamrock is associated with St. Patrick’s day is because of the legend of St. Patrick using a shamrock to teach about the holy trinity.
Music is a very important part of Irish Culture. The Irish used songs and music to help them remember important events and to pass on their heritage and history. The harp has been a symbol of Ireland for hundreds of years.