St. Patrick's Day is this Thursday -- so here at the Charming Chick Blog we want to share some of history, traditions and symbols of this Irish holiday. St. Patrick's is actually a religious holiday to honor the patron Saint on Ireland. St. Patrick, who is credited with bringing Christianity to the country. While he may not have been the very first -- he certainly was a big part in putting an end to pagan practices, which helped Christianity to flourish there.
As you might expect, the largest St. Patrick's celebrations take place in Ireland. Here in the United States - especially in areas with a large Irish population - you'll find a wide array of St. Paddy's Day festivities taking place there as well. To celebrate the holiday you'll often see people - Irish or not - wearing a lot of green. Many cities have parades that take place, and in some areas (like Chicago) they turn rivers, lakes or other bodies of water green!
Here are some of the most common symbols of St. Patrick's day:
Shamrock ~ The shamrock is a three leafed white clover, which is a symbol of Ireland. It also was used by St. Patrick to help explain the Holy Trinity -- The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today 4-leaf clovers are used as a sign of Irish luck. Each leaf represents; luck, love, wealth, and hope.
Corned Beef and Cabbage ~ Cabbage has long been a staple of Irish cuisine, but on St. Patrick's Day -- Irish Bacon is the traditional meal served during this holiday. At the turn of the century, Irish immigrants started serving corned beef -- because it was more affordable.
The Leprechaun - This mischievous little fellow is another symbol of St. Patrick's Day. According to Irish folklore, when the leprechaun isn't hanging out at rainbows and hiding pots of gold -- they making shoes. That must be their day job. It is said that, if you see one of these creatures and capture them, they will grant you three wishes. Also, leprechaun's were originally described to be wearing red and not green.
We'll leave you with one last bit of St. Patrick's trivia:
Did you know...
That the first color traditionally associated with St. Patrick's Day was blue? It's true!
Have a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!!