Mar 17, 2014

Celebrating Ireland

patrick's day png

Today I’ll be having a regular colored beer at the local(because the real Irish don’t drink their beer green) and Beef and Guinness pie.

Today is the day everyone is either Irish or wants to be. St. Patrick is the patron saint of this little island on the edge of the Atlantic ocean. So let’s get to know him a little better.

Thoughts on Paddy:

  • The most startling fact about the patron saint of Ireland is that he was not Irish. He was born and raised in Britain around the time it would have been known as Britannia.
  • The modern theory is Patrick was a slave trader and willingly fled to Ireland in fear of his life from the Romans who held Britain at the time. In Ireland he eventually earned enough to return home and buy himself a role in the church. Remembering at the time, the church was the ultimate seat of power.
  • The story he was a captured slave came from the man himself, who presented his story as that of an innocent boy taken from him home and sold into slavery by Irish pirates for 6 years before he escaped, travelled across the island and returned home. Given the status of slaves at the time and the rest of his life story, being a slave is unlikely to be true.
  • Patrick didn’t banish the snakes from Ireland. There were no snakes to banish. It’s more likely that this was an analogy for Patrick’s work on behalf of the church in stamping down pagans. Many of whom were sold into slavery and sent overseas.
  • The Shamrock was a symbol of Ireland long before Patrick. The shamrock, with it’s three leaves is famously associated with Ireland and especially Patrick’s day. Many believe this is because Patrick used it to explain the trinity of Christian belief. The truth is Shamrock was a scared plant long before that. Green was scared to Ireland long before Ireland was Ireland. The tri-leaf plant represented eternal life to the pre-Christians and the triple goddesses of the ancient island.

So, while Patrick may not have been all he professed himself to be, the 17th of March(claimed at the day of his death) is still a great day to celebrate Ireland. To be fair, we Irish celebrate it every day, but for one day a year, the rest of the world joins in and remembers what this tiny island, has brought to the world.

  • The folklore that inspires huge numbers of modern day paranormal authors
  • The preserved heritage sites dating back 5,000 years
  • Dracula (Bram Stoker)
  • Lilliput and Gulliver (Jonathan Swift)
  • Narnia (C.S. Lewis)
  • Dorian Grey (Oscar Wilde)
  • Eliza Dolittle (George Bernard Shaw)
  • Guinness
  • The ejector seat
  • DeLorean (car from Back to the Future)
  • Titanic
  • Hypodermic Syringe (Francis Rynde)
  • Portable defibrillator
  • A cure for leprosy
  • Color phytography
  • The White House (Designed by James Hoban)
  • Live Aid (Bob Geldof)

That doesn’t even scratch the surface of musicians, actors, writers, inventors, scientists, movies, tv shows all coming from this tiny plot of land. An island well worth celebrating.

Éirinn go Brách!

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