Written By: Tandra Filbin
Hi, everyone! I hope everybody is healthy and happy! Let's find out about Saint Patrick’s Day. What even is Saint Patrick’s Day? What is the history of Saint Patrick’s Day? And what is with all the pinching!?
Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and Bishop in Ireland. It is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon (which is a word from Greek “diakonos” which translates to helper), and the last member of the threefold Christian ministry (below the presbyter-priest and bishop). His grandfather was also a priest in the Christian church. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic, Ireland. He spent six years working as a shepherd and during that time, he found God. God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. He fled to the coast and found a ship waiting for him. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest. (Wikipedia, n.d.). Saint Patrick's Day.
According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan and/or atheist Irish to Christianity. "He spent many years evangelizing Irish in the Northern half of Ireland and converted thousands" (Wikipedia, n.d.). Saint Patrick's Day.
Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th every year to honor the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. (Wikipedia, n.d.). Saint Patrick's Day.
Saint Patrick’s Day is a commemoration of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Christianity is and has been the largest religion in Ireland since the 5th century. Today it includes at least 78.3% of the population. Saint Patrick converted the Irish tribes to Christianity in quick order, producing a great number of saints in the Early Middle Ages, and a faith interwoven with Irish identity for centuries since. (Wikipedia, n.d.). Religion in the Republic of Ireland.
One of the reasons we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day is because of Ireland’s nickname, The Emerald Isle. One of the reasons we associate shamrocks and/or 3 leaf clovers with Saint Patrick is because he was thought to have use those 3 leaves to teach people about the Holy Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). (Wikipedia, n.d.). Saint Patrick's Day.
As far as all the pinching goes…You’ll be invisible to leprechauns if you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. We know they’re not real but our folklore and mythology are some of the best things about Ireland. St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures, who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). That is when the pinching war started. Humans pinching other humans who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch the green-free! Plus if you are in fact invisible then being pinched would likely cause an “ouch!” of some kind which would reveal you! So just to be extra safe, wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day! (Mulraney, F. (2022, Mar. 16). Why do you get pinched if you don't wear green on St. Patrick's Day. Irish Central.)
Here are my favorite Saint Patrick's Day books here at the library:
Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun-Jeffrey Burton(Author), Sanja Rescek(Illustrator)
Too Many Leprechauns Or How That Pot o' Gold Got to the End of the Rainbow-Stephen Krensky(Author), Dan Andreasen(Illustrator)
Here are some resources for Saint Patrick's Day activities & books:
Mulraney, F. (2022, Mar. 16). Why do you get pinched if you don't wear green on St. Patrick's Day. Irish Central. https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/craic/wear-green-saint-patricks-day-pinch-rules
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Saint Patrick's Day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick%27s_Day
Wikipeida. (n.d.). Religion in the Republic of Ireland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland
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