Just who was Saint Patrick, and why do we celebrate him once a year with bright green clothing, three-leafed shamrocks, and lots of beer? Those are all very good questions.
St. Patrick’s Day is not just an American tradition. It’s a global celebration of Irish culture and in particular, of Saint Patrick. For those of you who don’t know, Saint Patrick was a Christian missionary known as the “Apostle of Ireland.” If he was a fan of Corned Beef and Cabbage, I couldn’t say, but one thing is for certain, Saint Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
Did You Know?
The original color of Saint Patrick was blue and not green. According to the Smithsonian Magazine the original color was a sky blue, known as “St. Patrick’s Blue.” It would be a crazy different sight if Chicago dyed their river blue instead of green each year, wouldn’t it? But alas, thanks to some interference on behalf of the Tudor King, eventually the color green became the color of St. Patrick’s Day instead.
Four-Leaf Clovers May Bring Luck But…
The three-leafed shamrock is actually the symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. Do you know why? It’s probably not what you think, but it seems that Saint Patrick was a pretty craft guy. According to several sites, including Celebrating Holidays, Saint Patrick used the shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity to the Irish. Now, it’s a symbol seen just about everywhere on St. Paddy’s Day! Pretty cool, huh?
But Why Do We Drink So Much Beer?
Such a great question! I’m not a huge beer fan, but from time to time I like to indulge. St. Patrick’s Day is always happy to oblige with the abundance of green beer. In fact, according to Fortune, about 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed on March 17th. Holy moly that’s a lot of beer!
But the question is, how did beer become so popular? Well, St. Patrick’s Day began as a feast day, held in honor of the man himself on the anniversary of his death. Christians were allowed to put aside Lenten restrictions on food and alcohol consumption. And that evolved into all the drinking of beer!
No Matter What…
Whether you’re putting together a great Irish dinner menu, relaxing at home, or heading out to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this year, you’ll hopefully have some new facts to share with friends. And, while they say there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you might want to steer clear of the leprechauns that are most likely protecting them. As always, have a safe and wonderful holiday!