WARNING, WARNING: Those not found wearing green tomorrow WILL be pinched!
‘Ello young lads and ladies, The Why Kid here again, and just in the knick of time as the The Green Day is upon us.
Yes, that is correct, I said The Green Day…not St. Patrick’s Day. Why might you ask? That is a terribly good question. As I was driving home yesterday, casually listening to the radio, the host of the afternoon show brought up the subject that many schools around the country are now changing the name of St. Patrick’s Day to Green Day (not the band) in an attempt to be more politically and socially correct. Apparently it is becoming a widespread belief that honoring a man of a particular religious background is no longer acceptable in The United States. Thus, St. Valentine’s Day is also being referred to now as “Caring and Kindness Day” and Christmas is now referred to as “The Sparkle Season.” No… I’m not kidding…
Well, for all of you inquisitive minds, I’m personally interested in the origin of St. Patrick. Who is he? Why do we celebrate him? Corn beef and Hash? Shamrocks? Pinching? What’s the deal?
Every March 17th, Irish (and non Irish) celebrate the life and death of their beloved St. Patrick; the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the fifth century and was kidnapped at the age of 16, and brought to Ireland as a slave. He later escaped, yet returned to Ireland in order to bring the message of the Gospel and Christianity to the people. Perhaps, one of the greatest and most famous stories of this astounding man is the fact that he once explained the concept of the trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) by using the three leafs of the native Irish clover, the Shamrock. Thus, the tie in of the Shamrock to this holiday.
Later, when the Great Potato Famine arose in Ireland in 1845, close to one million Irish immigrants made their way to the decks of Ellis Island seeking refuge for their starving families, bringing their traditions of St. Patrick’s Day with them. As it is accustomed, St. Patrick’s Day falls in the midst of the season of Lent that many Catholic and some Christians participate in. Irish families would often attend church service in the morning, and spend the rest of the day celebrating by dancing, drinking, and feasting. Due to the fact that Lenten prohibits against the consumption of meat, the Irish chose to waive that restriction on this day alone and opt for a traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage—thus, Corn beef and hash everyone.
In addition to this great wave of new Irish immigration into America, many brought stories and legends from their old country as well. So, finally, Viva the Leprechaun! The Leprechaun was told to be a mischievous little creature standing a staggering 24 inches tall. He was best known for his cobbling talents and for hiding his profits in a pot of gold. Irish children were told that if they were very quiet they could hear the soft pounding of the Leprechaun’s hammer, and all they needed to do was follow that sound in order to receive their treasure. Leprechauns were said to be very magical creatures with a taste for pranks; loyal to the great Emerald Isle (Ireland) through and through, and anyone not found wearing green on his beloved St. Patrick’s Day would get a pinch from the fairy-like creature.
So there you have it well boys and well girls. When you’re sharing a pint of green goodness tomorrow eve, impress your lads with your newfound knowledge of the green country. And watch out for those tricky little creatures too, they’re said to be able to drink anyone under the table if you’re not careful.
Final words of wisdom from The Why Kid: PLEASE be responsible. Do not drink and drive. And ladies and gentlemen…we do have sexual harassment laws in America, so pinch wisely.
Photo Credit: allmercifulsavior.com