1024px-Green_Chicago_River_on_Saint_Patricks_Day_2009When we take a look at the calendar in March we notice the one holiday that brings in Spring with jubilant revelrie.  Year after year the seventeenth of March we celebrate the Feast of Saint Patrick by consuming green beer by the pintfull and eating what we consider traditional Irish dishes.  But what is it all about?  Let us give you a bit more reason for the season by explaining some of the cooler and more forgotten aspects of St. Patrick’s day so you can consume those green beers with more vigor!

 

Saint Patrick

The St. Patrick complete with Shamrock. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CHAPEL

The man himself was a british born into a wealthy family and both a father and grandfather as high standing members of the Catholic church.  He was kidnapped by Irish raiders at the age of sixteen but he eventually escaped.  In his later life he returned as a bishop to Ireland to help bring Christianity to the region, using the Shamrock as a way to visualize the holy trinity.  He worked tirelessly for thirty odd years until he died on March 17th in the year 461.

Wearing Green

St. Patrick’s color was always blue, but eventually with the Shamrock and the turn of the seasons to Spring with the grass growing and the flowers blooming green began to take over.  Green ribbons, green shamrocks, and eventually green beer are all part of the celebration now.

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

We all know about the potato famine and all that but why the corned beef and cabbage?  Sadly that’s an American tradition.  Cabbage is used because its a cheap spring vegetable.  As for the meat? Back in the early days poor Irish Americans couldn’t afford much but they could afford corned beef.  This tied with cabbage began a staple for the feast of St. Patrick

Leprechauns

Sadly this doesn’t have anything to do with the good saint or the day.  Leprechauns are thought to have been a celtic myth similar to that of fairies and other fairy tails.  These angry tiny men who hide their gold and play lots of tricks.  How do they relate to the holiday?  All it takes is green, irish, and lucky.

 

Despite the fact that the holiday is more American now than Irish, we still celebrate with gusto the man who helped bring Catholicism to the Irish.  So drink your Guinness (or try a Smithwicks), eat your corned beef and cabbage, kiss the Blarney Stone and don’t forget to drink a glass of water before bed.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Hop Responsibly.