The History of St. Patrick’s Day

 

As we all know, St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, but is it really just about going out with your friends in all green and drinking beer all night? After doing some of my own research, I have found that this actually might be (part of) the case!

Picture by patrickian4 on Unsplash​

St. Patrick’s Day (or the Feast of Saint Patrick) is actually a holiday on March 17th every year celebrated by the Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox churches. This day celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as their heritage and culture in general. Most of the celebrations involved parades, festivals, and, as we all know, wearing green. Religious ceremonies often involved church services and for the Lutheran church, restrictions on consuming alcohol were lifted that day, which is what has promoted drinking on St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most universal holidays, as it is celebrated in other countries such as Canada, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, and many others. The shamrock originally comes from St. Patrick himself, when he used the three leaves to describe the Holy Trinity to the Irish. Three was a significant number to the Irish as well as their triple deities, which is what is believed to help aid St. Patrick to his conversion of the Irish. The Irish are also thought that the shamrock was sacred, so St. Patrick would teach with a cross in one hand and a shamrock in the other.

Photo by kellysikkema on Unsplash​

St. Patrick’s Day was also not originally associated with the color green! St. Patrick’s Day was first associated with the color blue when it was founded in 1783, but the color green was later adopted closer to the 1800’s when it was also associated with Irish nationalism. The rebellion in 1798 against British rule, which started the trend of “wearing green”, which showed their support in the rebellion if one wore the color green.

So next year on St. Patrick’s Day, I’m sure we’ll all feel very rebellious when we’re decked out in our green gear and truly supportive of the Holy Trinity with our shamrock-beaded necklaces.