Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Facts


As most folks have I've known about the holiday "St. Patrick's Day" for as long as I can remember but the only thing I truly know is it's always celebrated the 17th day of March and you must wear something green to avoid being pinched. This year I decided to do some research about this green holiday and here’s what I learned.

St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD. It is also a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and history. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland and a provincial holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

St. Patrick was born in 385 AD somewhere along the west coast of Britain, possibly in the Welsh town of Banwen. At age 16, he was captured and sold into slavery to a sheep farmer. He escaped when he was 22 and spent the next 12 years in a monastery. In his 30s he returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. He died at Saul in 461 AD and is buried at Downpatrick.


The wearing of green and pinching origins are still unknown but many believe it's an American tradition that probably started in the early 1700s. 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). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.
Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2011!

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