- Holidays and Celebrations
St Patrick’s day a milestone every year!
St Patrick’s day a milestone every year!
What is St patrick’s day and who is St Patrick?
Well according to Wikipaedia:
“Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá ’le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), colloquially St. Paddy's Day or Paddy's Day, is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick (circa 385–461 AD), one of the patron saints of Ireland, and is generally celebrated on March 17.
The day is the national holiday of Ireland. It is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Montserrat, and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the rest of Canada, Great Britain, Australia, the United States and New Zealand, it is widely celebrated but is not an official holiday.
It became a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early part of the 17th century, and is a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. The feast day usually falls during Lent; if it falls on a Friday of Lent (unless it is Good Friday), the obligation to abstain from eating meat (usually corned beef) can be lifted by the local bishop. The date of the feast is occasionally, yet controversially, moved by church authorities when March 17 falls during Holy Week; this happened in 1940 when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on April 3 in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday, and happened again in 2008, having been observed on 15 March. March 17 will not fall during Holy Week again until 2160.”
So there you have it It falls on March 17 and will continue to do so until 2160. So I guess I wont be around when it changes (if it does) so neither will any of you!
Who was St Patrick
Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.
Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been - the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age.
There are two notable accounts of Saint Patrick's death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was viewed as a protection in times of illness and to ward off the "evil eye." Another account says that St. Patrick died at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. There is a St. Patrick’s Chapel still existing in Glastonbury Abbey. Today, there are many St. Patrick’s churches, cathedrals and the like, the one in New York probably being the best known one outside of Ireland.
What happens on St Patrick’s day?
All around the world there are parties, parades and festivities. Beer is dyed green and in some towns rivers and dams are dyed green too. Much Guinness, Jamison’s Irish Whiskey and “green beer” is drunk ( to excess I might add). Everyone tries to go to an Irish pub or restaurant on that day too.
I have Irish ancestry. My Great Grandfather came to South Africa as part of the Irish contingent of the !820 settlers so although well diluted by genealogy I still feel very Irish at times and as a young man I had a reddish tinge to my Fair hair and a temperament to match. Since my hair (what is left of it that is) has burnt from fire to ashes and the temperament is now fairly even unless I get really fired up.
St Pat’s day has a special significance for me dating back to my days in the newspaper industry. Many of my pals were journalists and editors of various local newspapers whom I met when installing electronic editing systems for newspaper publishing. I wrote, implemented and did the training of the staff to use the systems and so became intimately acquainted with a number of these individuals. One of these was the Managing editor of a small group of these papers. He was a classical Irishman. His father was Irish. Like all Irishman he told a good story, worked hard and equally played hard too. He was large red-headed, bearded and had a marvelous turn of phrase. In short good company at any level.
Work Hard Play Hard
Because of the work hard play hard ethic December month was particularly trying, playing havoc with weight and sobriety. The remedy was to swear off drink from January 1 to March 17. This of course was also a Lenten penance of sorts. A group of us would undertake the annual sobriety pledge and most of us would stick to it. However, come March 17, we would have an almighty party even breakers of the pledge were invited . Green Beer was supplied in a keg – in later years we needed two kegs as we easily finished one - , Jamieson’s Whiskey and to finish off Irish Mist as a liqueur were also available. We also had a braai (barbecue) consisting of prawns (jumbo shrimp) and other delicacies to enable us to drink on a “full stomach”.
Getting safely home.
In addition each of us received a sticker for our windshield indicating that we were on duty for the aforesaid Newspaper group. This contrivance salvaged many of us at the roadblocks that were always plentiful on the night. A policeman would then drive us home in our own vehicles, followed by another officer to pick them up after the duty. It was simply an indulgence by the officiating policemen knowing full well the fame of that newspapers St Pat’s party and turning a benevolent blind eye to the revelry. Perhaps an awareness of how many policeman around the world are in fact of Irish descent (particularly so in the USA) may have played a small role here.
So let’s all have a jar or a dram on St Pat’s day March 17.