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The Green Festival – St. Patrick’s Day

Last updated on August 11th, 2023 at 07:05 pm

The Green Festival: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

It’s March again and that means St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. The Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th each year. The Patron Saint of Ireland originally designated St. Patrick's Day to observe his death, but it has since evolved to be a celebration of all things Irish. Today, people all over the world partake in St. Patrick’s Day festivities with parades, music, dancing, and many different foods and drinks. Let's check out some St. Patrick’s Day Symbols as we go through this article.

The Green Festival Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

  • Who Was St. Patrick?

Saint Patrick, also known as the Apostle of Ireland, was a 5th-century missionary to Ireland. Kidnappers abducted Patrick at an early age and held him captive for more than 6 years. Moreover, many people believe that these experiences turned him towards Christianity and inspired his dreams of spreading his faith throughout Ireland.

Saint Patrick used the Shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity. The Shamrock, which is one of the St. Patrick’s Day Symbols, has since become a staple in St. Patrick’s Day attire, some have even said that Saint Patrick’s use of the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity is the reason that people wear green for the holiday.

St. Patrick’s Day is recognized on March 17th, the day of Saint Patrick’s death. By the time of his death, Patrick had established many monasteries, churches, and schools.

Who Was St. Patrick

People in Ireland have been observing St. Patrick’s Day since the 9th or 10th century. Throughout the centuries, celebrations to honor St. Patrick spread around the globe, largely due to Irish emigrants. Cities with large numbers of Irish immigrants began staging large-scale celebrations. Moreover, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in America on March 17, 1601, in a Spanish colony now known as St. Augustine, Florida.  Boston, MA held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737. Over 150,000 participants certainly consider the New York St. Patrick's Day parade as the world's largest and oldest civilian parade.

Irish communities and organizations celebrate St Patrick's Day in many parts of the world. Individuals wear green clothing, and they dye foods and drinks with green food coloring. Many also indulge in Irish-themed sweets and a “pint” of beer at their favorite local pub as St. Patrick’s Day Symbols.

Restaurants and pubs around the world offer many traditional Irish foods, including:

    • Irish Brown Bread
    • Corned Beef and Cabbage
    • Beef and Guinness Pie
    • Irish Cream Chocolate Mousse Cake
    • Irish Coffee
    • Irish Potato Champ (Poundies, Cally or Pandy)
    • Irish Stew
    • Irish Potato Soup

Since the early 13th century, people have commonly associated St Patrick's Purgatory with penance and spiritual healing, and they plan a pilgrimage to it. It is on Station Island in Lough Derg in County Donegal where St. Patrick had a vision promising that all who came to the sanctuary in penitence and faith would receive a pardon for their sins.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Symbols Of St. Patrick’s Day

1. Shamrock 

The shamrock is likely the most common symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. This is a leaf of the clover plant and a symbol of the Holy Trinity. As the legend goes, St. Patrick used the shamrock to visually explain Christianity’s Holy Trinity. Over time, Ireland's National Symbol became the shamrock, and today Irish branding and design often incorporate it.

2. Color Green

In honor of St. Patrick, many people choose to wear green, dye foods and drinks green like green tea, and turn the Chicago River green each year. Although originally represented by the color blue, the increasing popularity of the Shamrock symbol led to the switch to green in the 1600s. On St. Patrick's Day, people fill cities across the world with a sea of green – whether it's green beer, green rivers, or green outfits from head to toe. Forget to wear your green and you risk being pinched!

Color Green

3. Leprechauns  

Leprechauns, as one of the St. Patrick’s Day Symbols, have long been a beloved part of Irish folklore. These mischievous fairies who, when captured by a human, must grant three wishes to be freed were originally depicted in red clothing, rather than green, and their outfits varied by region. This is far different than the green top hat, rainbows, and pots of gold we know today.

4. Celtic Cross

When Patrick went back to Ireland to convert the Irish to Christianity, he was successful because he didn't force the Irish to forget their old beliefs, instead meshing their old beliefs with the new beliefs. One example of this is the Celtic Cross. Saint Patrick added the sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross. This new symbol of Christianity was more natural to the Irish.

Celtic Cross

5. The Harp

Another St. Patrick’s Day Symbols is the harp an ancient musical instrument used in Ireland for centuries. It is also a symbol of Ireland. Harpists, who were often blind, occupied an honored place in Irish society. Harpists and bards (or poets) played an important role in the social structure of Ireland. They were supported by chieftains and kings. Although it is not as recognizable as the shamrock, the harp is a widely used symbol. It appears on Irish coins, the presidential flag, state seals, uniforms, and official documents.

Staying Healthy While Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are incredibly popular, for Irish and non-Irish people alike. Drinking beer, dressing like Leprechauns, and listening and dancing to Celtic music is how many spend each March 17th. St. Patrick’s Day has become a great excuse to reduce stress and have some fun while spending time with friends.

St. Patrick’s Day can be an eventful often exhausting celebration that requires you to fuel your body with the best nutrition possible and lose weight at the same time. It’s important to find a healthy balance between nutrient-dense meals and snacks that satisfy those cravings.

Discover those foods you genuinely love to eat and cook and consider supplements to help keep your body running optimally. The right supplements can help boost your immune system, aid digestion, and keep you looking and feeling your best.

St. Patrick’s Day indeed is a great time to stock up on your favorite supplements. If you are interested in improving your health, taking supplements is one of the best things you can do. Check out our Guide to Dietary Supplements to be guided and save time and money!

Guide to Dietary Supplements

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