Throwback Thursday: St. Patrick’s Day

It’s the season of Shamrock Shakes and, well, midterms. So if you managed to have enough free time to even read this article, then I applaud you. Hopefully you also have enough time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today. And with St. Patrick’s Day, this week, I decided to take a look into the origins and traditions of St. Patrick’s Day for #TBT.

Around 460 A.D., Saint Patrick was born (although he didn’t become a saint until around the 600s). Originally from Wales, he was captured and forced into slavery in Ireland. Eventually he escaped and reunited with his family, but in the end, he wound up going back to Ireland in order to do missionary work. Pause for a moment to realize just how hardcore and dedicated that sounds.

Things like the shamrock that have come to be associated with the day are said to come from his teachings as well. The representative shamrock comes from his explanations of the Holy Trinity. More interestingly, however, is that Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. People often forget that he was a descendent of Salazar Slytherin and inherited the ability to speak Parseltongue. As someone with such a rare ability, he apparently chased them all into the ocean, as one does with snakes, and saved everyone with snake phobias and allergies (I can only assume). Some time after this, he used his wizardry to plant a walking stick in the ground and turn it into a tree. The muggles, upon seeing all of these feats, likely declared him a saint right on the spot.

The first St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in 1737 in Ireland with modest celebrations such as feasts and religious services. The parades began in New York in 1762. Since then, the celebrations have only grown, mostly in the form of green plastic necklaces, ridiculous hats, and other decorations and costumes from the local dollar store. That’s right: McDonald’s isn’t the only place where you can flaunt your Irish heritage (or pretend to be Irish for the day). Party City, Dollar King, and other places for the immeasurably wealthy will also be providing celebratory services.

So find a four-leaf clover, drink some green smoothies and shakes, and, I don’t know, do a jig? Take a break from the midterm season and go for an early break. At this point, you’ve probably more than earned it.

 

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