St. Patrick’s Day Traditions 11Mar14
There are many traditions associated with St. Patrick’s Day, even though some of them don’t have anything to do with Ireland. The day is adorned with shamrocks and parades, and more than a little beer. From the color green to leprechauns, it’s a festive day that Irish people especially enjoy. Many other people enjoy it, too. Chicago officials order the Chicago River dyed green for the day.
Shamrocks were sacred plants in ancient Ireland, symbolizing spring’s rebirth. It was seen as a symbol of an emerging sense of Irish nationalism by the 17th century. As the English seized land from the Irish and made laws against speaking their language, people wore shamrocks as symbols of their pride in their Irish heritage and displeasure with being ruled by the English. Show your Irish pride with any number of personalized gifts from Taylor Gifts.
Music is often heard during parades and parties on St. Paddy’s Day. Music has always been an integral part of life for the Irish. They passed their history, legends and religion from one generation to the next with songs and stories. When oppressed by the English, they turned to music, to hold on to Irish history and heritage.
The story is told of St. Patrick standing on a hilltop and banishing snakes from all of Ireland. This is a legend; Ireland is an island and never had any snakes. This tale is really retelling a metaphor for the Irish eradication of the ideology of pagans from Ireland, and Christianity’s triumph.
Leprechauns were originally part of Irish folklore, known as “lobaircins”, which means “small bodied fellows”. It is thought that believing in leprechauns comes from a Celtic belief in fairies. These are tiny people who can serve either good or evil. In Irish folktales, leprechauns were cranky. They have always been known as tricky little fellows, using this trickery to protect their treasure, found in fables alone.