t. Patrick's day is celebrated around the world, but is only a national holiday in
Ireland where it is a religious holiday. Many attend mass, offering prayers for missionaries around the world. In other places
throughout the world, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated with parades, the wearing of the green and partying.
There are many symbols of St. Patrick's day ~ the clover, the harp, leprechauns and their pot of gold.
|t. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and was a real person, but legends have also grown up around him. He is credited with several things that aren't true. First ~ St. Patrick wasn't Irish.|
He was born in either Wales or Scotland and named Maewyn Succat. He was kidnapped
and sold in Ireland as a slave. He became fluent in the language, escaped to the continent and was sent back by the Pope to preach
the gospel (and took the name Patrick) - first as a deacon, then as a priest and a bishop.
The most well-known legend is that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. It is true that there are no snakes in Ireland, but St. Patrick had nothing to do with it.
St. Patrick also did not bring Christianity to Ireland - it was already there. He did abolish the pagan rites and converted their leaders and baptized them.
he national symbol of Ireland is the harp.
It's the oldest of Ireland's symbols.
it's small and portable - and
played by Celtic minstrels. The harp can be found in many places - from Irish coins to state seals, uniforms and official documents.
The shamrock is the more recognized Irish symbol - and is the National plant of Ireland. The shamrock is a three-leaf plant - the four-leaf clover is very rare. It is said that the shamrock symbolizes the Trinity.
The Claddagh Ring is the symbol of friendship, loyalty and love.
Leprechauns are fairies, but specifically, in the form of little old men. Legend has it that if you catch a leprechaun and can keep looking in his eyes, he will reveal where his pot of gold is hidden. However, if you take your eyes off the leprechaun, he will vanish - along with the secret location of his gold.
The Shillelagh is an oak or blackthorn sapling made into a cudgel - or club or walking stick. It's named from the Shillelagh Forest which was rich in oak, until the best of the wood was exported out of Ireland. After the rich oak wood was mostly gone, blackthorn became the wood of choice for the Shillelagh - which could also be wielded as a weapon. The Shillelagh also became a sign of manhood - when a young man was old enough to carry one - and it was carried everywhere!
The Blarney Stone - a stone in Blarney Castle, which was built in 1446. The stone is found about 120 feet up in the battlement ~ and yes, you really do have to hang upside down to kiss it. When you kiss the Blarney stone you are said to then possess the gift of eloquence and persuasive flattery (blarney).
|St Patrick's Day Quiz|
St. Patrick's Coloring pages|
Luck of the Irish Word Search
St Patrick's Day Crossword
There's an Irish Blessing for just about anything you can
think of - click on the blessing above for more!
There are thousands of Irish
recipes - this is just a sampling of some Irish standards
Nutty Irishman (my favorite!)
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