Shamrocks, St. Patrick, and Space!
Céad míle fáilte, TwinFlame community! It’s your lucky day.
Last year, you got a brief rundown of what this holiday is and the legends that surround it. St. Patrick, the Irish patron saint, died March 17th, 461 A.D., which is why the holiday commemorates that day. But most of the other things you’ve heard are likely false.
I’m Irish through my maternal grandparents. They emigrated to the Midwestern United States in the late 50’s, just before my mom was born. Sadly, I never got a chance to meet them, so everything I know about Ireland comes second hand through my mom.
She taught me the only Irish words I know, céad míle fáilte. It means ‘a hundred thousand welcomes’ and is a slightly formal way of greeting people!
But no, she didn’t really teach me anything about St. Patrick.
For example, before this week the only thing I knew about Patrick (we’re on a first name basis due to both being Irish) was that he drove the snakes out of Ireland. Every time my mom would tell me that, I would picture a tall ginger man in a green robe standing on a hill in the beautiful Irish countryside, sternly ordering a mass of snakes to turn tail and slither sadly into the ocean.
Guess what? Shocking, I know, but it turns out that’s not true. He did not actually evict all of the snakes from the country of Ireland. Actually, none of the things he’s known for are entirely accurate.
Christianity already existed in Ireland when Patrick, who was technically British, started to preach there. He went there specifically to preach to the existing Christians. Most Irish people had pagan beliefs at the time and it’s believed that the snake myth refers to how, over the next couple hundred years, paganism was almost entirely replaced with Christianity (Catholicism) in Ireland.
And in case you were wondering about shamrocks, they've been an Irish icon since the 1700s and represent the holy trinity.
While St. Patrick’s Day is a commemoration of the day of his death, the holiday has evolved. Now it exists as a celebration of Ireland, the people, culture, and country.
I’ve never been to Ireland, but I grew up near enough Chicago that St. Patrick’s Day conjures a mental image of a certain river being dyed bright green and a huge, rowdy parade. But everywhere celebrates differently.
If you know of a unique St. Patrick’s Day celebration, let us know in the comments! There’s so many that I didn’t cover here.
In Chicago, there’s a huge parade on the Saturday closest to the holiday - this year that was March 12th. Bars usually have deals starting from very early in the morning, and there are always multiple smaller parades and block parties happening in different parts of the city. I imagine it was chaos in the best way. Also, the theme was “Honoring Chicagoland’s Essential Workers” which feels fitting as the 2021 parade was canceled due to Covid.
New York City lights the Empire State Building green and according to the official site for the parade, it is the largest and oldest in the world! It dates back to 1762.
Tokyo also hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s day celebrations – actually, Japan has multiple parades, the largest of which has attracted over 100,000 people and is called the “I Love Ireland Festival.”
Buenos Aires, Argentina has a huge street party and parade in early March. There are over half a million Irish people living in Argentina! The parade is actually sponsored by the Irish Embassy there.
Fun fact: St. Patrick’s Day has even been celebrated on the International Space Station! It wasn’t official, but a few times, an astronaut of Irish heritage has been on the ISS during St. Patrick’s Day and has done something special to recognize the day! The Irish flag has even been “flown” on the ISS.
And last but not least, Dublin, Ireland has a four day festival, parade, and party to celebrate their most well-known holiday. Unfortunately, they missed two years due to Covid. That’s okay, because if I know anything about Irish people, it’s that we’re resilient. This year I’m sure they’ll party twice as hard. This parade is also dedicated to the essential workers that have supported the country through the pandemic.
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? If you haven’t before, here’s my advice: have fun! Wear green!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🌈🍀