Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Here’s a bonus post from last year…enjoy!


When I was a girl, the tradition went that we had to make sure we were wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day so as not to get pinched.  I’m not sure where the whole pinching tradition came from, but the wearing of the green and shamrocks to celebrate St. Patrick can be traced back to the 17th century.

Although St. Patrick is the most commonly recognized patron saint of Ireland, he was actually born in Roman Britain and became a Catholic Priest and later a Catholic Bishop.  He is credited with being a champion of Christianity in Ireland.

According to Irish folklore, St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock plant to teach the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to the Irish People.  After 30 years of evangelism in Ireland, he died there on March 17th  in the year 461.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is both a religious and cultural holiday in our country and around the world.  We celebrate St. Patrick but we also celebrate the heritage and culture of Ireland and the Irish People.  In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has been an official public holiday since 1903.

The Lenten ban on drinking alcohol is lifted for a day, and we celebrate St. Patrick’s life and contribution by drinking Irish beer and Irish whisky and by wearing green and shamrocks.  Many communities around the world commemorate the day with a St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

In Chicago, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day begins by dyeing the Chicago River green before the annual parade.  In New York City, the Empire State Building is lit in green lights, and since 2009, the water fountain on the north lawn of the White House has been dyed green to commemorate the day.

When my children were young, I would use food coloring to dye the milk green every year on St. Patrick’s Day.  I would also turn the clocks upside down and leave a box of Lucky Charms on the kitchen counter and green candy as well as some coins outside their bedroom doors.  Of course, I blamed all of this on those mischievous leprechauns!

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday we can celebrate whether we have any Irish heritage or connection to the Catholic Church.  It’s all in good fun and don’t forget to wear your green!

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