St. Patrick's Day is an annual national Irish holiday, which is held in honor of the famous patron of this country. According to legend, it was he who brought Christianity to the country, eradicating paganism, and he also drove the snakes off the island. For the Irish, this is a fun, colorful, springtime holiday.
When is St. Patrick's Day celebrated? This happens in early spring, March 17, when young leaves and grass are especially fresh and green. Although this holiday was originally celebrated only in Ireland, now the tradition is spread all over the world.
A well-known joke says: "On this day, anyone who wants to can become an Irishman." What are the customs of this holiday?
History of the legend
Although Saint Patrick is credited with Christianizing Ireland, there are indications that the religion existed there before him. Moreover, some scholars are generally inclined to believe that St. Patrick is nothing more than a character in legends. It is authentically known that in 373 AD, a boy, Mavin Sukkat, was born in Britain. He was very far fromChristianity, but at the age of sixteen he was taken into slavery and taken to Ireland. It was in conditions of severe bondage that he came to religion, and the new faith helped him survive.
When he finally managed to free himself, he left for Gaul, where he became a minister of the church and received the name Patrick. Then he returned to his native country as a missionary, preaching Christianity.
Despite the fact that, logically, St. Patrick's Day is closely related to Christianity, this holiday is an interweaving of both pagan and Christian traditions. Honoring the deeds of the saint, for example, can include climbing Mount Cro Patrick, on which, according to legend, the saint expelled all the snakes from the country.
Another tribute to Christianity is the decoration of houses and clothes with a green shamrock, which symbolizes the cross.
Folk traditions include that on St. Patrick's Day you need to drink at least a glass of alcohol in an Irish pub, and before that you need to put a shamrock leaf in it. This is called "draining the shamrock." After that, be sure to remove the leaf from the glass and throw it over your left shoulder.
The traditional color of clothing on this day is green. It symbolizes Ireland, spring and the shamrock. In general, the Irish are guided by the rule: the more green - the better! And in Chicago, they even paint the river green every year!
On St. Patrick's Day in Ireland and around the world, massive parades in extravagant costumes are held, in which famous brass bands withbagpipes.
Besides all this, leprechauns are an invariable image of the holiday - mythical characters, each of which, according to legend, has a bag of gold. But if the gold falls into the wrong hands, it will immediately dissolve into the air, so there is no point in asking or taking away their we alth from the leprechauns. In honor of funny characters, the participants of the holiday always wear tall green top hats.
Although St. Patrick's Day falls on Lent, the Irish eat their fill of meat dishes without violating the restrictions. How is this possible? This is another holiday magic. According to Catholic tradition, fish is considered a lenten dish, so there was a belief that Saint Patrick makes the meat put in the pan on this day a fish. So people are happy, and the fast is not broken.
Cabbage with bacon used to be a traditional dish, but later it was replaced by s alted meat, which was brought to Irish cuisine by American immigrants.
Another characteristic feature is that almost all festive dishes on this day, even sweet ones, are added … beer!
St. Patrick's Day is not to be missed. If you went outside in the spring, and everything around is green, beer flows like a river and bagpipes sound loud - do not hesitate, the favorite holiday of all the Irish has come!