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St. Patrick's Day History

St. Patrick's Day History, Customs, and Myths

23 Aug 2023


Table of Content

Every year, on March 17, we celebrate St. Patrick's Day. As per legends, Saint Patrick was born in 387 AD to Roman Parents in Scotland. When he was 16 years old, some Irish raiders kidnapped and brought him to Ireland, where he spent six years as a slave. One day, he heard the voice of God who directed him to move 200 miles towards the coast. He escaped the prison and followed the same route. There he found a ship which took him back to Britain. But again a supernatural power suggested him to return to Ireland and become a missionary. For the next 40 years, he spread the message of Christianity. Tradition holds that he died on the 17 March in 461 AD. For many years, the day was celebrated only in Ireland to commemorate the work and life of the saint. But since the 18th century, people from all across the world started indulging in its festivities. The celebration is especially observed by the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion Church, and Lutheran Church.

Celebrations and Customs

Most Christians around the world start this day by attending church as it's a holy day of obligation. Then they participate in elaborate parades and tuck into the family feats that comprises corned beef, cabbage, and green beer. In the rural area of Britain and Ireland, St Patrick's Day is celebrated in traditional style, with classical music, horse racing, and GAA matches. And, unlike mass parades, there are small localized ones that are of great fun. People wear green attires, and they indulge in binge drinking. Whatever be the weather, the day is also regarded as the middle date of spring. In the past, it was considered very auspicious for planting the main potato crop. Some farmers also follow this tradition till date.


Many myths are associated with this day. Here we have stated some logical explanations for them:

1) He drove the snakes

One of the most common stories regarding St. Patrick is that he drove the snakes of Ireland into the sea. He is said to chase them when they attempted to attack him while he was indulged in a 40-days fast. The story seems fascinating, but it's not true. As per scientists, snakes had never existed in Ireland due to the Ice Age, which makes the island too cold for reptiles. Scholars suggest that the story is an allegory with serpents being symbols of evil.

2)He used Shamrocks to explain the holy trinity

According to legends, St. Patrick used shamrocks to elucidate the theory of holy trinity where he identified its three leaves as the father, son and holy spirit. But there is no evidence to support this. The truth is that Shamrock is the official symbol for Ireland. However, it became a sacred plant in the 17th century, and many Irish folks started wearing the shamrock especially during the parades as a symbol of pride.

3) Wearing green is considered auspicious

As per beliefs, the first colour associated with St. Patrick's Day was blue as St. Patrick used to wear blue clothes. The colour green was adopted in the 18th  century due to its association with the Irish independence movement.

4)Pinching those who aren't wearing green

This tradition was started in the early 1700s. The idea behind this was those who wore green can be invisible to leprechauns( a type of fairy of the Aos Si in Irish folklore). Therefore, people started pinching those not wearing green as a reminder about this.

Hope you liked reading these interesting facts about St. Patrick's Day. We wish the day brings you good luck and happiness. Indulge in its festivities along with your friends and family. And, if your pending academic projects are impeding you from enjoying the day to its fullest, then seek help from the assignment writing experts working with us.

Read More - 7 Unbelievable Easter Traditions of UK

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