Just about everyone knows St. Patrick's Day is a day to wear green to work, or a day to go out with friends and celebrate at an Irish pub. St. Patrick's Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in the country, however, many do not know or understand the holiday's origins, nor do they know much about Saint Patrick himself. When you examine the facts surrounding St. Patrick's Day, you may find it much more interesting than you thought.
It is believed that Saint Patrick was born near the end of the fourteenth century to wealthy British parents. Although the role that Saint Patrick later took is religious, there is no evidence that his parents were entirely religious. When Saint Patrick was about sixteen years old, a band of Irish men attacked his family's estate, and took the young man prisoner. Upon his capture, he was taken to Ireland and spent six years in captivity. It was this time in the young boy's life that he became a devout Christian.
While in captivity, he worked as a shepherd and was alone most of the time, so religion became his solace. After six years had past, he had a dream that it was time to leave Ireland, according to his own writings. He escaped capture and walked 200 miles to make his way back to Britain. Once he was finally home, he had a second dream that would change his life. He dreamt of an angel, who told him to return to Ireland as a missionary. After fifteen years of religious study, he became a priest, upon which, he returned to Ireland with two goals: to minister to the Christians living in Ireland and also to start to convert the Irish to Christianity.
To do this, Saint Patrick took on a unique approach. He took the symbols of Christianity and attempted to incorporate them with symbols that were traditionally Irish. An interesting example of this is how Saint Patrick combined a Christian cross with a traditionally Irish symbol, the sun. This figure made what is now called the Celtic Cross. By doing this, Saint Patrick made Christianity more natural to the Irish.
The first St. Patrick's parade took place in New York City on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched to help reconnect with their Irish upbringing. Since then, St. Patrick's Day has not only been celebrated in Ireland, but has also been a way for Irish-American immigrants to celebrate their Irish roots. In 2006, St. Patrick's Day will be celebrated all over the world by all nationalities, not just the Irish. St. Patrick's Day parties call for creative and festive invitations, accented with anything and everything green, including green fonts, inks, borders and shamrock themes. Anything green or with a shamrock motif will work perfectly for your St. Patrick's Day event!
The roots of St. Patrick's Day not only reflects the spirit of the Irish, but is also a more interesting story than many realize. By knowing the history behind the holiday, it can make celebrating St. Patrick's Day all the more festive. Don't miss the festivities for this year's St. Patrick's Day!