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St. Patrick's Day Traditions

On March 17, 431AD, when Patrick of Ireland died, a new holiday was born. Though the celebrations began in the 700's as a traditional Catholic Holy Day, over the years St. Patrick's Day has become more a secular holiday which marks the beginning for spring. The official date for the beginning of spring is March 21, and this also supports the tradition of wearing green. Green is the color for life and growth and if you desire good luck and on this day, you should "be wearin' a touch o' the green! The spreading of Christianity and Catholicism to the Irish of the 4th and 5th century is mainly attributed to St. Patrick, who received the name of Patrick while in seminary after his captivity in Ireland.

Traditions that originated back in the 7th century have changed from being strictly religious to a St. Patrick's Day where "everybody is Irish for the day". Catholics will start the day off at early mass which signifies the beginning of the holiday. Tradition has it that St. Patrick often used a Shamrock to explain to pagans the concept of the Trinity.

The trinity is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost which Christians know all stem from the same God three in one like the Shamrock plant - three leaves from one stem. If you are wearing a shamrock you can claim Good Luck or Blessings! The tradition of the Shamrock still remains though most don't know the reason behind it; but it still means Good Luck! to whoever wears it or receives it. St. Patrick's Day was first observed as a holiday in the United States in 1737. The US was still under the authority of the British because the Revolutionary War that gave freedom didn't even start until 1776. So even though many of the Irish had not yet arrived to our shores yet, St. Patrick's Day was still considered a very important holiday. Queen's NY started the first parade in honor of St. Patrick and as a result, St. Patrick's Day parades are popular all across the country.

Parades are a great way to celebrate this day! If you need a tad bit more good luck to start your season off, invite a Leprechaun to accompany you throughout the day. They are packed with good luck and are kind of cute, to boot! Of course, one of the most popular traditions that goes only with St. Patrick's Day is the drinking of particularly green ale. Green is the color of the day! For this holiday, there should be no bar or tavern which does not add some green food coloring to a keg of draft beer to serve mugs of tinted beer to its customers. And of course Irish cream and Irish Whiskey ought to be available too, but make sure the kids get green lemonade or 7UP! St. Patrick's Day is a day of fun for all ages.


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