St. Patrick’s Day, Food For Thought

Searsha Ke
Searsha Ke is an avid risk taking entrepreneur. Here to teach that perseverance conquers all.
Social And Cultural

Mar 15,2017

  For all you ‘food for thought’ junkies out there, with St. Patrick’s day around the corner, what better topic than St Patrick’s day and St Patrick himself, whether you are of Irish descent or not. If you have partaken in these St. Patrick’s day celebrations before, you owe it to yourself to find out how it all came about.

 Haven’t you ever thought, there must be more to this celebration then just drinking? If you have, is it fair enough to say the green shamrock beer, the over crowded pubs, and the parade quickly distracted you from further investigation?

 As I’m a sucker for history, here is what I’ve learnt in a nutshell.

 St Patrick’s day is a public holiday not only in Ireland but Newfoundland & Labrador & the emerald island of Caribbean Montserrat. It’s widely recognized and observed throughout the entirety of the Irish diaspora: in Great Britain, United States, Argentina, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia.

 This celebration is also known as the feast of St. Patrick, celebrated since the 9th century and made an official Christian feast day in the 17th century. It’s become THE day to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Irish.

 This day commemorates St. Patrick not for the allegory of driving snakes out of Ireland, but due to his role in bringing Christianity to Ireland. Legend says that he used the 3 leafed shamrock symbol to explain the holy trinity to new converts, the real reason the shamrock symbol is still a part of the party.

 Historically the Lenten restrictions on drinking alcohol were lifted for this day, which explains how in modern times it’s become a big drinking festival. As we do tend to blow things out of proportion.

St Patrick’s Day parades began in North America in the 18th century but did not spread to Ireland until the 20th century. One of the longest running & largest St. Paddy’s parades in North America is in Montreal. They even feature the shamrock in its city flag.

 Another neat point of interest for us Torontonians is that the Toronto Maple Leafs whom we all adore were known from 1919 to 1927 as the Toronto St. Patricks and wore green jerseys!

 So now that we’ve taken a quick glimpse of what this day was originally about and what it’s become. You may be of an opinion similar to the Christian leaders who think St. Patrick’s day has become secularized or, like the 1990s government of Ireland campaign, perhaps you believe St. Patrick’s Day ranks among all the greatest celebrations in the world, it’s safe to say this holiday is a unifying one. It brings many together from all religions, races, paths, and cultures. It’s a celebration to be proud of!

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