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What’s Ireland Got To Do With It?

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Happy St. Patty’s to you, Lads and Lassies!

Today we parade, we feast, and—most importantly—we don our green apparel to show our Irish pride (or admiration) and the culture in which the Irish surround themselves. It’s interesting that a holiday that’s thought to be so celebratory of the Irish culture owns up to so many elements that aren’t Irish. It might sound like a sin to say, but there’s actually little to do with Ireland when it comes to this celebration.

St. Patty’s Day is GREEN. And while it may be the current color of Ireland, it actually used to be a light shade of blue. It was the shamrock itself—used by St. Patrick—that eventually, by the end of the 18th century, swayed the people to accept their Irish blood was green, despite the The lovely land of Ire...land.fact that his teachings and spreading of Christianity went on more than a thousand years prior.

Okay, so what about the man St. Patrick—the patron saint of Ireland himself. His name sounds Irish. Well, it’s actually not known where St. Patrick was born; but we do know where he wasn’t born: Ireland. While unknown, he is believed to have been Scottish; but wherever he was from, we know it wasn’t Ireland as he was brought to the island as a consequence of being bound in slavery.

Okay, okay…So the color and the celebrated figure don’t actually originate in Ireland. But the celebration itself is an Irish holiday—right? Nope. St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated on March 17, 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts as a means for Irish immigrants to commemorate their heritage. What started as a community party run by less than 30 people is now a celebration seen across the globe…but it didn’t originate in Ireland.

Even so, the holiday has everything to do with Ireland! After all, it’s the homeland that the folks who first celebrated it were honoring. And why not?! Ireland and the culture of its people is certainly worth celebrating. Happy St. Patty’s Day to all of you, whether you be from Ireland or not and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Posted in History Lessons

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