So I am sitting here sipping my Italian Roast coffee and thinking about St Patrick’s Day, and how it is an awesome holiday. One because I look great in the color green, and two it’s a holiday used as an excuse to well let’s say “indulge in alcoholic green beverages” more than you typically would, and though those are great reasons to celebrate, I knew it had to be more to this story about St Patrick, the leprechauns, and why the color green?
Who is St Patrick
He was the patron saint of Ireland but get this, his name wasn’t even Patrick and he wasn’t Irish (go figure). He was actually born in Britain in the late 300’s AD. He had several names actually Maewyn Succat, Patricius, Magonus, Succetus just to name a few but I think they settled on Patrick because well it’s just easier to pronounce!
His father Calpurnius was a deacon in the early Christian Church but lo and behold Patrick wasn’t a believer at the time. It took for him to be captured by some Irish pirates and enslaved for 6 years or more in order for him to give Christianity a go ( desperate times desperate measures I guess). While enslaved in Northern Ireland is where he learned the culture and language of the Irish. In his twenties Patrick claimed to have had a vision that he was supposed to bring Christianity to the Irish people who at that time were hugely paganistic.
Of course when anyone new comes to town trying to convert people to new and different ways than are established they are not welcomed with open arms so ole’ Patrick had to relocate to some islands off the coast where he eventually gained followers, baptized thousands, and formed many churches.
Why the Shamrock and the Color Green
Well the Green Color is not to stop people from pinching you but it goes back further to the Irish Rebellion. The Irish soldiers wore green as they fought the British whose trademark color was red. During the war in 1798 the soldiers sang a song titled “The wearing of the Green”. On St. Patrick’s Day people wore green in a show of solidarity. Now for this shamrock business Patrick supposedly used it to teach the Irish the concept of the Christian Holy Trinity (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit). They already had triple deities and regarded the number three highly, so Patrick’s use of the shamrock may have helped him win a great deal of favor with the Irish.
What’s up with the Leprechaun?
The Leprechaun is not necessarily a St Patrick’s Day thing but more so an Irish thing. And by the way the movies the Leprechaun 1,2,3 and Leprechaun in the Hood are not only hilarious but also shows a lot of the Leprechaun folklore. In Irish mythology the Leprechaun is a type of male faerie said to inhabit the island of Ireland. They are said to be rich with crocks of gold buried in different places. According to legend if you keep a fixed gaze upon one they cannot escape but the moment you look away they will be gone. Legend also says that you can only get the Leprechaun’s gold if you can catch and interrogate the Leprechaun.