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The History of St. Patrick's Day

Updated on November 29, 2011

St. Patrick's Day is a day to celebrate your Irish heritage. It is celebrated by drinking green beer, wearing green clothes, having parades and eating fine food. Some people even go as far as to paint the rivers and streams green to show their Irish heritage. I am part Irish but the only thing my family does is to make sure we wear something green every year on St. Patrick's Day.

In Ireland, all businesses except for the restaurants and pubs shut down to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The reason for this is because most of the Irish go to mass. Most of the Irish are Catholic or Protestant.

St. Patrick's real name was Maewyn Succat and it is believed that he was kidnapped at the age of 16 and sold into slavery. This is what brought him closer to God. Some people believe he was born in Wales in 385 AD while others believe he was born in Britain in 387 AD. I don't think we will ever really know when he was actually born.

Did you know St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th because some believe he died on March 8th or 9th so they added the 8 and 9 together to get 17 and thus this is the day we celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Although no one can agree on the day he was born and the day he died, his jaw bone was preserved for luck. It is requested for times such as child birth, fits caused by seizures and to protect against the “evil eye.”

St. Patrick finally escaped slavery six years after the fact and went to France to become a priest. Later on he became the second Bishop in Ireland. St. Patrick converted Pagans to Christians and established schools, churches and monasteries across the country of Ireland for 30 years.

The Shamrock is believed to have been used as a metaphor for the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Most people started wearing shamrocks on their clothes when they went to his sermons. The reason for the color green being used as the color of St. Patrick's Day is because it represents the Shamrock, Ireland and Spring.

Did you know there are no snakes in Ireland? While I was doing research on St. Patrick's Day I found out that there are two belief's about why there are no snakes in Ireland. Some believe St. Patrick drove all of the snakes out while others believe there are no snakes because Ireland was separated from the rest of Europe during the Ice Age. Most people believed St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland so this is one reason why he was worshiped so much.

The famous Blarney Stone sits atop a rock on the top story of Blarney castle which was built in the year 1446. The site of the Blarney Stone today is the third one that was built. People actually visit the Blarney Stone and kiss it but it is a very difficult task to do. A friend or tour guide has to help the person trying to kiss the stone. People sit with their backs to the stone and the friend or tour guide sits on their feet or firmly holds them down. While the friend or tour guide does this, the person wanting to kiss the stone leans down into the stone, which is very dark and has 18 foot thick walls around it, holds on to the rails and lowers themselves until their head is even with the stone to kiss it. I don't know if I would go through with all of that just for some luck. I would be afraid to fall into the stone itself.

A lot of interesting facts and belief's about St. Patrick's Day!


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