Another week and I feel very ill prepared. Today is St. Patrick’s day and we are supposed to celebrate it with the wearing of green and typically if you do not wear such color then it will result in a “pinch” from others. I am glad that I don’t know many people who still abide by such “rules” especially since I forgot to wear green today. I do have green eyes, although that is never accepted, or at least by most. My boyfriend asked why do we celebrate it here in the US and it got me to thinking about the reason why. When you log on to Google, it is decorated for the day, but do we know why? Do we care? Is it just an excuse to party, drink green beer and celebrate? What is St. Patrick’s Day all about?
History: St. Patrick’s Day
Today the celebration of this day originated in Ireland and is the remembrance of the saint, by the name St. Patrick, which is the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. This is a day that is often celebrated without meaning. How many people really know the reasons why we are asked to celebrate on this day? How many people know why or would you have to Google it? To be honest, I didn’t really know the reason why. I do not know much Irish history so upon reading about the saint I was surprised to learn just why the Irish celebrate this day.
St. Patrick appeared to be many things and much of history seems to come from his own writing called “Declaration”. He talks about his early life and being kidnapped at sixteen and taken as a slave in Ireland. He was there for six years until he was “found” by God. He flees and returns home where he becomes a priest and spreads the word. One of the typical symbols of the day is the “shamrock” which it is said he used to describe the Holy Trinity. He traveled the Irish country side and preached the word using this symbol to help him spread his message. He did this until his death on March 17th.
How did an Irish saint become a celebrated holiday in the United States? As we read on the History site, it explains how many Irish immigrated here which promoted the creation of “Irish Aid” societies. These groups would hold annual parades and celebrations, which created the spread of this holiday. It is interesting to note too ironically enough that the first parade wasn’t held in Ireland but the United States.
There could be different views for this, as we see it has transformed through out the decades. I am not Irish myself and honestly don’t celebrate the holiday in a traditional sense. I often do wear green but that is just to be festive, but again this year I didn’t even do that. Today is just another day. Is it so popular over here for the sheer reason that Americans will enjoy any reason to celebrate? Is this just another reason to get together, get drunk and party? Honestly it’s a bit disrespectful to take something with such history and meaning and turn it into another drunken day. It’s always good to be careful not to make hasty but my guess if you went and interviewed those at the parades, about half or more would not know the reason why this day was a holiday, the importance behind it or they honestly wouldn’t celebrate it for the traditional reason.
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