St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every year on 17th March. Let’s find out what’s so special about this holiday, and how it got started!
The Irish have observed St Patrick’s day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years.
Saint Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious holiday that is celebrated on March 17th each year. It commemorates the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The day is typically marked with parades, feasting, and the wearing of green.
Historically, on St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. During Lent, the consumption of meat was prohibited, but on Saint Patrick's day, the people were allowed to observe one day of frivolity and would dance and dine on a meal of boiled bacon and cabbage.
St Patrick lived and grew up in the fifth century. His name was actually Maewyn Succat, but he wasn’t so fond of the name so he chose to be known as “Patricius” in Latin. He is commonly known as the patron saint of Ireland, although he was originally born in then Roman Britain. As the story goes, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery by Irish raiders. He spent six years working in the Irish hills as a shepherd before escaping and fleeing back to England by boat. It is said that God spoke directly with Patrick and told him that if he escaped, a ship would be waiting to take him home. After returning to his native land, Patrick went on to become a priest.
Patrick later returned with his faith to convert the then pagan Irish community to Christianity. He spent decades preaching the word of God in the northern regions of Ireland and converted thousands. Patrick's efforts against the druids were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove "snakes" out of Ireland, despite the fact that there were never actually any of the long-tailed serpents on the island, to begin with. The most popular story surrounding Saint Patrick is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of an Irish clover, also known as the shamrock.
In the centuries that followed Patrick’s death on 17th March 461, the mythology surrounding his life became even more ingrained in Irish culture.
St. Paddy’s Day started as a religious celebration in the 17th century to honour the life of Saint Patrick and celebrate the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. This day always took place on 17th March, the anniversary of St Patrick’s death. In the early 18th century, Irish immigrants brought the tradition over to the American colonies, and it was there that Saint Patrick started to become a symbol of Irish heritage and culture. As more Irish arrived in the new world, the annual celebration slowly grew in popularity. The first-ever St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in Boston, MA in 1737. But Chicago, IL didn’t start dying the river green for the occasion until 1962.
In 1903, the day became a national holiday in Ireland, and over time it transformed into what is now called St Patrick’s Day. The holiday has since become a worldwide celebration in countries like the United States, Great Britain, Canada, South America, Australia, parts of Europe, and even throughout Asia. As it happens, St. Paddy’s Day is so popular that it is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. What was once a day of going to church and eating boiled cabbage with the family has transformed into the biggest party in the world.
Saint Patrick's Day is considered lucky in part because it is associated with the colour green, which has been considered a lucky colour in many cultures. Green is also the colour of the shamrock, which is a symbol of Ireland and is said to have been used by Saint Patrick to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland.
Saint Patrick himself is often associated with good luck and protection. According to legend, Saint Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland, and this is said to have brought good luck to the country. Saint Patrick's Day is often associated with celebrations, festivities, and parades. Many people believe that celebrating with friends and family brings good luck and happiness.
In some cultures, lucky numbers or symbols may be associated with Saint Patrick's Day, and these may be incorporated into lottery draws and plays by some individuals who believe in following the numbers. Lottery is generally a game of random chance that can be fun to associate with certain lucky digits to those who play.
Overall, Saint Patrick's Day is considered lucky for a variety of reasons, including the colour green, the symbolism of the shamrock, and the association with Saint Patrick himself. Luck is often a matter of perspective, and what one person considers lucky may not be the same for another. If you have lucky traditions associated with Saint Patrick's day we hope you celebrate them this year by wearing green, going to a festival or enjoying your own unique version of this internationally renowned event.
There are many different symbols associated with the celebration of Saint Patrick's day, including the following:
Shamrock: The shamrock is a small, three-leafed plant that is widely recognized as a symbol of Ireland. Legend has it that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland.
Leprechaun: Leprechauns are small, mischievous imp-like creatures that are said to be expert shoemakers. They are often depicted wearing green and hiding pots of gold at the end of rainbows.
Pot of gold: The pot of gold is a common symbol associated with leprechauns. Legend has it that if you catch a leprechaun, he will lead you to his pot of gold, which is said to be hidden at the end of a rainbow.
Green: The colour green is associated with Saint Patrick's Day and is often worn by people celebrating the holiday. Green is also the colour of the shamrock, which is a symbol of Ireland.
Celtic Cross: The Celtic Cross is a symbol of Irish heritage and is often associated with Saint Patrick's Day. It features a cross with a circle around the intersection of the arms, representing the sun and the cycle of life.