Ever wonder about the history of Saint Patrick's Day? No, it's not just a day for drinking and being merry. There's much that's happened that's completely evolved and Americanized this long-celebrated holiday.
Many people think that Saint Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland. it was recounted for hundreds of years that Patrick stood on a hill called Croagh Patrick with only a wooden staff in his hand and banished all the snakes from the land. There were never any snakes in Ireland at all. Snakes were used as a metaphor for banishing Pagan beliefs in Ireland, which was replaced two hundred years after Patrick's mission with Christianity. Otherwise, there's not much known about Ireland's patron saint.
This religious holiday is celebrated on March 17, on Saint Patrick's feast day and the aniversery of his death. The holiday's been celebrated in Ireland for over a thousand years. It takes place during the Catholic season of Lent. On Saint Patty's Day in Ireland, folks traditionally would attend church in the morning and party during the afternoon. Dancing, eating meat and drinking and being merry were usually frowned upon during Lent, but these restrictions were waved during this very special holiday. :) They ate Irish bacon and cabbage. corned beef wasn't consumed until the early twentieth century on New York City's lower east side. The Irish learned of this less expensive substitute from the Jewish immigrants. How cool is that? Indeed, St. Patrick's Day has truly been Americanized.
This holiday, along with millions of Irish immigrants over the years has found it's way to the United States. During the nineteenth century, famine and poverty brought many of the Irish to the US. Though the first St. Patty's Day parade was held much earlier in 1762 in New York City, when Irish soldiers serving in the British army marched through the city.
There are more Irish Americans in the US than Irish in Ireland, 34.7 million Irish Americans, which is more than seven times the population of Ireland. The largest concentration of Irish Americans live in Boston and New York City.
Ever wonder why on this day we drink green beer, or why Lake Michigan in Chicago runs green, when in fact, Saint Patrick's color was actually blue? Ireland is known as the "Emerald Isle," because of the landscape. Also in Ireland, the shamrock was associated with more a political slant and uprising in the eighteenth century by the Catholic Nationalists as well as to explain the Trinity in Christianity. Shamrocks would be placed in the lapels as a way to express pride in ones nation. However in the United States, green was originally worn as a way to identify oneself as Irish.
St. Patty's Day isn't just celebrated in the UNited States and in Ireland, but in Japan and other locales around the world as well. After all, who doesn't like a party? :)
So my friends, here's a toast from me to you come Saturday. :)
May your blessings outnmuber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
And my absolute favorite:
May you be in heaven one half hour before the devil knows you're dead.
Abbey MacInnis is a published author of Contemporary Western romance. Along with Contemporary, she writes Historical, Paranormal and erotic romance. Whether she’s being swept off her feet by a Medieval knight, regency rake, or cowboy or cop, her heroes are always strong men who’ll love their women unconditionally.
On most days, Abbey can be found at her computer, penning her latest tale. A tale where love, respect, and passion combine to create a satisfying and happy ending. She invites you to step in to the pages of her romances, to leave your worries behind and get swept up in her world.
Check out my latest release:
His Fifth Avenue Thief
Two years prior, Irishman Aaron O’Connel took his life from rags to riches. Chance and wits have kept him alive in 1850’S New York City. But no amount of money or success can bring his love Cathlene back from the dead. When a thief sneaks her way into his mansion, the last woman he expects to find absconding with his belongings is his long lost wife.
Abandoned on New York’s shores, a widowed, penniless, and ruined Cathlene O'Connel was left to fend for herself in an unfamiliar world. Fear and circumstance drove her to a life of thieving in order to survive, but her heart risks the biggest danger of all when Aaron hands her a scandalous proposition: A son in exchange for her freedom.
Now that he has her back, Aaron doesn't intend to let Cathlene slip between his fingers. He'll do whatever it takes to regain her trust and love. But when an enemy from Cathlene's past resurfaces, Aaron not only faces battling for Cathlene's heart, but also her life.
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