Why We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day + St. Paddy Coloring Pages
Saint Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, but how much do we know about this holiday celebration?
Every year, millions of people across the globe mark 17th of March as a celebration to honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The date was specifically chosen because it is the death anniversary of St. Patrick.
The world goes green for St. Patrick’s Day. Millions of people celebrate this with music-blaring, green-colored parades, lots of beer and hard drinks, and festive foods. One of St. Patrick’s Day’s signature dishes includes beef and cabbage. Of course, hard alcohols and beers are also popular during the celebration. So as you cook your corned beef and cabbage and rink your beers, learn the historical and religious significance of St. Patrick’s Day.
Who was St. Patrick?
St. Patrick was a missionary and Bishop of Ireland. His birth name was Maewyn Succat. Many people thought he was from Ireland, but he was initially from a religious family in Roman Britain. It was believed that his fate was not strong enough until Irish pirates kidnaped him at the age of 16. The pirates brought him to Ireland and subjected him to slavery. During his captivity, he discovered his faith in God. He escaped from Ireland when he was 22 and came back to his family, believing that God called upon him.
After returning to Britain, he had another vision of returning to Ireland and bringing Christianity to the land, so he returned as a missionary of the Catholic church and adopted the name Patricius or Patrick (Latin word for “father figure”). He traveled throughout Ireland with a shamrock, or the three-leaf clover, to explain the Holy Trinity.
Why People Wear Green During St. Patrick’s Day
Green clothes, green decorations, green milkshakes, green everything… you would know that it is Saint Patrick’s Day with this color on the streets. But what was the reason behind this color?
Some scholars revealed that the light color blue was first associated with St. Patrick. But during the Irish Rebellion in 1796, Irish soldiers wore green, which contrasted the red British uniforms—and sang, “The Wearing of the green.” This established the association between the color green and Ireland.
But according to legends, it was thought that wearing green would ward off leprechauns, the creatures they felt they needed to hide from. If you don’t wear green, a leprechaun might pinch you. As part of the tradition, people would pinch anyone who wasn’t wearing green to remind them that leprechauns are lurking around.
Around the World: St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations
Today, Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated mainly in the United States, Australia, Ireland, and Canada. Japan, Russia, and Singapore also hold small celebrations to commemorate the feast.
Wearing green and parades have been the traditional way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day spirit, but the events vary based on the city:
St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland. The celebration in Ireland is religious since it is considered a sacred feast day. The first St. Patrick’s Festival was held in 1996. In recent years, many celebrations happen in the streets as it becomes cultural.
One of the largest St. Patrick parades happens in Boston, which brings over 600,000 people. Boston has a large Irish-American community which explains the big celebration. Many veterans also take part in the events, and celebrations happen in Irish pubs in the city.
Who would miss the green river of Chicago? It all started in 1962 when sanitation workers found that the green vegetable dye they used to check dumped sewage could be a Saint Patrick’s Day decoration. Reports revealed that it takes 4o lbs. of dye to achieve that green hue.
Music events, parades, and dressing up in green are Singapore’s way to celebrate St, Patrick’s Day. Singapore has a society that hosts St. Patrick’s Day annually.
During St. Patrick’s Day, the Sydney Opera House is lit with the color green.
What do you think is the true meaning of Saint Patrick’s Day? Share your thoughts below!