Unless you've been hiding under rock over the past few years, you have probably noticed that St. Patrick's day has been celebrated with increased zeal each time it rolls around. Celebrated on the 17th March (sometimes it is moved by the church, though will not be again until 2160), the date is said to be that of St. Patrick's death and is a national holiday inn Ireland. But what does the celebration really mean today?
Religion. For many, St. Patrick's Day still has many religious connotations and is an opportunity for Catholics to attend mass. If the 17th happens to fall on a Friday, some bishops allow the privilege to eat meat from which Catholics usually abstained. In terms of religion himself, St. Patrick was a Christian Missionary abroad and subsequently taught other Christians the best way to preach to pagan cultures. He is said to have converted thousands to the faith.
Green. Interestingly, St. Patrick was actually more famed for wearing blue. Instead, the relationship between the modern celebration and the colour green is said to have derived from the phrase 'the wearing of the green', which means to wear a shamrock (a long-time sign of Irish nationalism). St. Patrick often used the shamrock as a symbol to demonstrate the holy trinity during his preaching to non-Christians.
Alcohol. Today, St. Patrick 's Day is widely associated with drinking typically Irish alcohol, including: whiskey, Guinness stout, Baileys Irish Cream, and Irish Coffee. Realising the great potential of the tradition making increased sales in Irish goods, alcoholic drinks marketers have tried to promote their brands with particular incentives on and around the 17th March year on year. Guinness seems to have led the way, with merchandise and token schemes successfully enticing many revellers to drink excess amounts of the famous dark stout in celebration.
Parade. Many cities across the world host their own St. Patrick's Day parades. In the UK, the largest goes through Birmingham, but London and the small Scottish town of Coatbridge also have their own. In Chicago USA, the river is dyed green, and in 1966 environmentalists protested at the tradition affecting the river's goldfish population, forcing the ingredients of the dye to be changed. The volcanic island of Montserrat, which was founded by Irish refugees, also celebrates the 17th as a national holiday.
St. Patrick's Day Internet Scavenger Hunt
- Birthday Express History of St. Patrick's Day Page-- http://www.birthdayexpress.com/bexpress/planning/StPatricksDay.asp
- What tragic event happened to St. Patrick as a teenager?
- What did Patrick say the three leaf shamrock symbolized?
- Nearly every business is closed in Ireland on St. Patrick's day, except what?
- What does "green" stand for?
- St. Patrick's Profile-- http://www.pcpages.com/fantasyworld/patprof.html
- Young St. Patrick was called "Succat." What does that mean?
- After he was baptized, he was called Patricius. What does that mean?
- How many U.S. Presidents have had Irish heritage?
- When and where was the first American celebration of St. Patrick's Day?
- St. Patrick's Day Customs and History-- http://wilstar.com/holidays/patrick.htm
- When is St. Patrick's Day celebrated?
- What does that date stand for?
- When was St. Patrick born?
- St. Patrick's Day-- http://www.serena1.com/st-pat-page1.html
- The tradition Irish greeting is "top of the morning to you." What is the correct response?
- What does the Irish word "luchorpan" mean?
- What do leprechaun's supposedly spend their time doing?
- Supposedly, how tall are leprechauns?
- What gift is a person supposed to receive if they kiss the Blarney stone?
- St. Patrick's Day Word Search--http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/patrick/word/search1.gif
Here are some links I found while browsing and thought they will be interesting addition to the above:
- Print out the Word Search Puzzle and solve.