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Luck o' the Irish!

St. Patrick's Day – the day where people wear green, pinch people who aren't wearing green, eat corned beef and cabbage, and drink to their heart's desire.It might surprise some to know, that St. Patrick's Day was not always like this.Let's explore some history of this party filled day.

We should start at the very beginning, and learn who St. Patrick actually was.St. Patrick was an important figure to the Irish Catholic history.What might be surprising to find out, however, is that St. Patrick wasn't actually Irish.He was born in Britain, but kidnapped at age 16 and brought to Ireland.He was able to escape and return to his family, but after having a dream of a voice telling him to return to Ireland, he went back and studied to become a priest.St. Patrick spent his life converting the people of Ireland to Christianity.

Cue the shamrock.We all know that shamrock is a symbol for St. Patrick's Day, but why?Before St. Patrick got his hands on a shamrock, this plant was actually sacred in Ireland because the three leaves formed a triad.However, according to legends, once St. Patrick began his Christian conversion, he used this sacred plant to explain the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.There are some other shamrock traditions, such as "drowning the shamrock."This tradition began as early as the 17th century, and people would wear a shamrock on their coat, and at the end of the day, they would place that shamrock in to a glass of whiskey before they drank it.

Now how about the tradition of wearing green?It turns out that this is a completely American tradition, much like the entire party culture of St. Patrick's Day.However, the choice of wearing green does hold a connection to that the color is featured in the Irish flag, Ireland is called the "Emerald Isle", and it is the color of springtime, as well as the sacred shamrock.Another American made tradition is eating corned beef and cabbage.However, it turns out that the traditional meal in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day is actually lamb or bacon.This is because in Gaelic Ireland, cows were not used for meat – just their milk.

St. Patrick's Day started out as a feast day for St. Patrick.This day stems from the date that St. Patrick died.Since this was a religious celebration, the pubs in Ireland were actually closed.However, in 1995, the Irish government changed this law, and many people celebrated this day in the pubs.

Now that you know a little bit more about this holiday, get ready to wear your green, because even though it is only a modern day tradition, on St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish, and nobody likes to be pinched!

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Monday, September 23, 2019

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