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A Quare Green Day, It Is

Updated on August 23, 2017

Now, that's a fret!

What is St. Pat's Day? Read further along and you'll find out things you didn't know.

The day of St. Patrick is a cultural holiday as well as a religious one. Though in the years immediately following his death he was relatively forgotten, myths and legends surrounding him grew from generation to generation. When St. Patrick's day came into being it was celebrated rather low key in Ireland. The grand hoopla that is part of the day's celebration now was more of an import from the USA into the green land of Eire. The setting of the date for St. Patrick's date is believed to be on the day of his death. This saint is attributed with having brought Christianity to Ireland. He's said to have converted the Pagans of the Emerald Isles and rid them of their heathen priesthoods. In the early days of the observation of St. Patrick's day it was a day of solemnity and religious worship.

St. Patrick's Day Myths:

Saint Patrick is said to have banished the snakes from Ireland. When I was a practicing Wikkan, I did a bit of study into Celtic lore in general. I learned through my studies, that there were no snakes native to Ireland at the time of St. Patrick, before his time or after. The reference to snakes was really code for the Druids. These leaders were the priests of Iron Age Britain and France, their spiritual and religious leaders. St. Patrick simply cleared the way for Christianity to take root. Oddly enough, it's rumored that finding themselves without a people, without a land, they eventually found their way into the monasteries and religious orders of Christianity. This, because many of the rigors of the priestly life were familiar to them from their lives as Druids.

Another myth which may be a bit harder to wrap your mind around (not because of the Guinness, I'm sure) is that Ireland's patron saint wasn't Irish. He was born a Roman Briton and christened Maewyn Succat. The place where he was born would be somewhere in what is now modern-day Scotland. His early residence in Ireland was as a slave, a kidnapped personage at that. After six years of servitude, he escaped and returned home to his family. Not long after, he became a cleric. He returned to Ireland as a missionary.

St. Patrick as Saint. Perhaps not truly a myth, but rather a case of misinterpretation. It is more of a case of grandfathering in earlier practices. St. Patrick was never canonized. You know, he was never made a saint by the Vatican. This was because in his lifetime, the appointing (canonizing) of sainthood was done more on the local level. Yes, he has a solemnly recognized feast day, but he doesn't have his canonization papers.

In all of this, I can honestly say, it's remarkable that anyone can be remember over so long a span of time. Not only that, he's remembered for what is taken to be good rather than evil. Whether it's a day of fun and frolic for you and yours, a day of devotion, or a day on which you choose to be occupied by something else, remember that for some reason the cosmos has chosen that this individual be remembered over the ages.


Quare is an Irish colloquial word, meaning strange or unusual. It's also a regional pronunciation of queer.

"That's a fret" is an Irish phrase which suggests disbelief. [I use it here ironically.]


Image photo-manipulated by lens author.

Big Little Book of Irish Wit & Wisdom
Big Little Book of Irish Wit & Wisdom

Why not add another book to the pile of Irish humor reading on the table?


What's Important For You On St. Pat's?

What says to you, "St. Patrick's Day"?

See results

Purple Shamrocks

Shamrocks and Four Leaf Clover

Purple Shamrock?

You're probably wondering why there's a purple plant in a shamrock section of a St. Patrick's day article? Well, it's another variety of shamrock, false shamrock, rather. I recall, however, on many St. Patrick's day jaunts to the florist, finding this particularly pretty plant on offer. It's actually my fave. But, it's not true shamrock and it's found in a South American native environment, so it's not even Irish.

True Shamrock is a clover plant in the fabaceae family. Clover is from the genus trifolium which means trefoil. The symbol of Ireland is also a metaphor for the trinity, or so it is rumored to have been use by St. Patrick as such. This hardy little plant is called shamrock from the Irish word seamrog which means summer plant. Though there is still some debate as to which clover plant is the true shamrock, I'm content to go with the popular preference for red or white clover.

Some of the things said about this revered four-leaved plant seem truly to derive from myth and legend, such as that it stands erect when there's a storm approaching. The use of the shamrock to represent Ireland is more a state and political usage making it more of a logo. The harp is the country's official symbol. In its state usage in the UK, it keeps company with the Thistle of Scotland, the Rose of England, and the Leek of Wales.


Image courtesy of WIkimedia Commons; Photo (c)2006 Derek Ramsey Ram_Man (

Kelly Green

A Brief History

I'd been told at one time that Kelly green comes from a reference to the color of the painted Picts in Irish legend. If it were true that Picts painted themselves with color derived from woad, they would have been a bluish color. The two common sources for blue die in those days were woad and indigo. Indigo produced it's own signature blue color. Woad produced a somewhat lighter blue than Indigo but is also quite bright.

Since Kelly green didn't come from the use of woad, where did it come from? In taking a look at a few definitions of Kelly green, I discovered that it came in to use as a combination of the common use of the name Kelly and the popularity of the color green. The term was first recorded in use in English in 1917. To ensure you get the exact color in your photo manipulation software use one of these codes in the settings of your color selector: RGB 76, 187, 23 or HTML (Hex triplet) #4CBB17. This is the color chosen by many organizations in Ireland.


Image photo-manipulated by lens author.

Tickle Yourself Green - Irish Humor

Great and funny books on an Irish green theme.

The Mammoth Book of Irish Humor
The Mammoth Book of Irish Humor

Perfect book to have on your coffee table when entertaining for St. Pat's.


Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

I use turkey sausage instead.

Serving Size

Serves: 6-8


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring, until ground beef is no longer pink and onion is tender.
  2. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Cast your vote for Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Irish Movies

Read my review of A Shine of Rainbows. You'll see why I make mention of this above any other of the Irish movies I've talked about below.

You'll find this list of the top ten Irish movies useful. I loved Waking Ned Divine. This movie and it's on my list to watch it again. Not being a great lover of comedy movies, I am pleased to find I really liked this one. My Left Foot is another excellent watch. Not only is it well written with excellent actors, it is also a wonderful adaptation of the book. Rotten Tomatoes has a great list of movies out with their article, Blarney! Ten Great Irish Movies. Moviefone's appreciation of Irish movies to watch is more extensive and a great addition to the list.


A movie with Colm Meaney in it is a movie well worth the watching.


Saint Patrick's Day Games for Young and Old

Parties, fun and frolic are all part of a traditional St. Patrick's Day celebration. Whether you're a kid, a kid at heart, or a "grup," you'll find something in the links below for making great green things happen on this fine Irish day for getting your green on.

Since I don't drink, I'm always finding creative ways to work around the alcohol requirements for many beverages. So, one's goofy green day doesn't have to include a liquor.

If The Drinkin' Is Green Does It Have to Be Beer?

If the Drinkin' Is Green Is it Beer or Something Else?

So, what's your take on all things (most all) green, St. Patty's or on this hub. Share a recipe for any green eatin' or drinkin' you think we should know about. If frolic is your thing, share a bit of fun with us. Hmmm. I think we need limericks in here somewhere.

Yarns: Nine Quite Unbelievable Irish Short Stories
Yarns: Nine Quite Unbelievable Irish Short Stories

You know what they say about used car salespersons (gotta be PC, right)? Well, it's no easily learned art to spin a tale as long as your nose and do it well enough it can be believed. Get this book to see how it's done.


Please take a moment to share your greener thoughts.

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    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @Lorelei Cohen: I can see where having the "pot" runneth over with gold could be a very, very good thing. Thank you, LoreleiCohen, for popping in and commening.

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      4 years ago from Canada

      I love the idea of a lucky shamrock and little leprechauns with pots overflowing with gold. This is such a happy spring holiday.

    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @GrammieOlivia: Thank you, Gramieo, for stopping in and commenting. Glad you enjoyed. Hope your day was very green. :D

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great lens, I enjoyed all of it!

    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @Zeross4: Thank you, DaisyDixon. Glad you liked the lens. I appreciate your stopping in and commenting.

    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @georgepmoola2: Thank you, georgepmoola, for stopping in and commenting. Glad you liked the lens. It didn't occur to me that some of the neighboring countries in the UK may not celebrate St. Pat's. I'll have to check out traditional holidays for Wales.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 

      4 years ago from Kentucky

      I just LOVE St. Patrick's Day! My favorite color is green, I have a lot of Irish heritage, I'm crazy about shamrocks, and the list goes on! I really enjoyed your article, it was great! I loved the photos of the different shamrocks as well, and I had never seen purple clover! Great job on this :)

    • georgepmoola2 profile image


      4 years ago

      Not really affected by any St. Patrick's festivities as I'm Welsh. Great lens, though!


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