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The Luck of the Irish

Let's all celebrate down at the pub!

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Let's all celebrate down at the pub!

Britt Young, News Editor

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St. Patty’s Day is known for wearing green, or someone will get pinched, but it is also a day that the Irish find sacred to celebrate a man that helped save Ireland.

Saint Patrick is known to all of Ireland as the apostle and the patron saint of Ireland.  The History Channel states that “born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16.”

As a slave he worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for guidance and peace. He was a slave for six years before he escaped.

After he escaped, St Patrick decided to become a Priest.  Accomplishing this, he went back to Ireland with the task to show them Christianity.  The people made him a saint for coming back to save all of them.

On Kaboose.com they state that St. Patrick was also accredited for bringing written word back to Ireland.  He brought over Bibles and other written stories to show the people.  Before this, people use orally passing down stories to each generation.

St Patrick ran into problems on his quest for Christianity with the druid priests who had their own beliefs.  Their are many stories speaking of their arguments and disagreements.

St. Patrick’s death was around March 17th, explaining why St. Patty’s Day is on that very day every year.

As the years passed on the mythology pertaining to St Patrick grew.  One of the myths was that of the three leaves on a shamrock.  The History Channel explained that St Patrick explained that the three leaves symbolized the Holy Trinity.

Soon people started to celebrate St. Patrick in their own way.

The first parade celebrating St Patrick was not actually in Ireland, but in the United States.  In 1762 Irishmen in the English Army marched through the streets in the United States celebrating their Irish roots.

The parades continued after because of the growth of Irish immigrants into the United States.

Immigrants celebrate differently all over the world, but The History Channel commented that Chicago dyes their river green.  This started when workers were putting dyes in the river to clean it from the pollution.  They decided that green dye would make an interesting way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day.

Green is worn on St Patty’s Day because the Irish flag is Green, Orange, and White.  Orange symbolizes the protestants, and green symbolizes the catholics.  Protestants do not celebrate saint’s days, so green is the color to celebrate St Patrick.

Americans are really the only ones into green clothes, wigs, and beer.  In the U.S. people dye their drinks green before they can celebrate.   Many swarm to the bars to have one glass of “green beer” before the tap runs out.

In Ireland the parades and drinks do not have any preference to green.  On the other hand, the Irish are the ones that started the belief of leprechauns.  The History Channel stated that leprechauns came from the Celtic belief of fairies.  In the tales of the Irish, leprechauns were little men who mended the shoes of other fairies and they were known for their trickery to protect their gold.

If a leprechauns was to be caught, they would have to give all of their treasure to the person who caught them.  That is also why rainbows are also linked to pots of gold on St. Patty’s Day.

American’s did not even know about this tradition, the History Channel explained, until the 50’s when Disney came out with the movie “Darby O’Gill & the Little People.”  The little people in Disney’s rendition were much friendlier than the leprechauns in the Irish folklore.

No matter what is celebrated, or how it is celebrated; remember the man that started it all back in the 1500’s.

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The Luck of the Irish