It’s that time of year again. Remember the dread you felt when you realized you’d come to school without wearing a stitch of green on Saint Patrick’s Day? I admit, every St. Paddy’s Day I still do an inventory of my clothing looking for green. Why do I care? Is a school-boy going to pinch me?
Imagine my surprise when I did a Google search and discovered blue was the color originally associated with St. Paddy’s Day and somehow switched to green in the 17th century. Few facts about Saint Patrick can be verified. I even checked with the library’s history department and was told we don’t know much about him; most is folklore. He didn’t rid the land of snakes as legend tells us, and it’s unlikely he compared the Trinity to the shamrock.
A few interesting tidbits I uncovered: By the seventh century, Saint Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland, but he was not Irish. He was kidnapped at age 16 from his home in Great Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland. After six years, he escaped and returned to his family. He became a cleric and went back to Ireland. He served as an ordained bishop and spent his last 30 years in Ireland, baptizing pagans, ordaining priests, and founding churches and monasteries. Ireland fully converted to Christianity within 200 years and was the only country in Europe to Christianize peacefully.
Here in the Evergreen State (Washington) we are surrounded by green; Seattle was nicknamed the Emerald City. But I’d better dig through my wardrobe and wear the few pieces I own. Are you wearing green? Do you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day? If so, how? Do you watch a parade? Do you enjoy a traditional Irish meal? I don’t know that I’ve eaten one and would love to hear about it.
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