Monday, March 17, 2014

Little Holiday Big Deal #2

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  You know, I've never cared about Saint Patrick's Day.  I never knew about the tradition of pinching someone if they didn't wear green until we moved to Ohio.  I thought it was the stupidest  tradition, especially when I would get pinched all day long at school.  I don't know if I ever owned anything green other than a pin or a pair of socks.  I'm not Irish and I don't believe in luck, so celebrating Saint Patrick's Day is really a wash for me.

Until I learned.....
In 400 A.D., Patrick was born in Britain and was kidnapped at 16 years old by Irish raiders and was made a slave. After six years of slavery, he escaped and fled back to Britain and became a priest.  He later chose to return to Ireland as a missionary and helped spread the teachings of Christianity to pagans. According to Irish folklore, he used the shamrock to teach the pagans about the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  He established monasteries, churches and schools, baptized newly converted Christians and continued his work for 30 years in Ireland until he died on March 17, the day we celebrate The Feast of Saint Patrick.

While many Catholics still observe Saint Patrick's Day by going to mass, the holiday has slowly evolved to become a celebration of Irish heritage. Through the years, shamrocks, ethnic cuisines and wearing green has adapted to other countries' traditions such as Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada, along with many cities across the United States.

So there you have it.  Saint Patrick wasn't even Irish but because he spread Christianity throughout Ireland for so many years, he became a legend that many parts of the world celebrate his success today.

And with that history, we made a little holiday, a big deal... well, at least as big of a deal as I could on a holiday I never cared about before.

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