Sweet Ignorance of Modern Day Holidays

miriam Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

shamrock Sweet Ignorance of Modern Day HolidaysDo you ever stop to think about why you celebrate certain holidays?  Do you wonder why they started in the first place?  Do you think about how the holiday traditions have changed over time?  I never thought too much about it until this past year when my 4 year old daughter began asking more about holidays.  She wants to know the reason behind everything and it forces me to learn more about things I’ve always just accepted.  This year she kept asking over and over again if Santa were real and so my husband and I finally told her the truth about St. Nicholas, who he was, and how his legend transformed into the modern day story of Santa Claus.  With each new holiday that comes, she is ready with new questions so I try to prepare myself for when they inevitably come.

The next holiday is St. Patrick’s Day and for the first time in my life I went online to read about why we celebrate March 17th by wearing green, decorating with shamrocks, and eating corned beef and cabbage.  Do you know why?  I found out that St. Patrick’s Day is like most other holidays that surround religious saints throughout history.  St. Patrick wasn’t born Irish and lived around 370 AD.  As a boy he was stolen by pirates and sold to be a slave in Ireland.  He stayed there for many  years, eventually escaped and then studied to become a priest.  He then felt like it was his calling to return to Ireland and convert the Irish to Christianity.  He spent the rest of his life doing so and died on March 17th, which is the day the Irish people honor him.

A long while later people in Britain began celebrating that day as well and it eventually spread to the United States and a few other countries.  The shamrock is said to represent the way St. Patrick taught about the holy trinity.  Leprechauns are Irish fairies and those were thrown in as part of traditional Irish folklore.  Today, most of us wear green, eat some Irish food and some people use it as an excuse to get more drunk than usual, but we might celebrate it a little different if we knew the history behind it.

Either way you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I have a website that can help with all you need to make the day great.  If you are wanting to celebrate like most Americans do with fun crafts, green attire and silly decorations, Create For Less is the place for you.  Just make sure you order soon to have your supplies for the big day.  If you are wanting to celebrate more traditionally, Shop Irish is the place for you.  These items are actually from Ireland and can help you appreciate the Irish culture.  As for me, I think I am going to swing more towards the traditional end and try something new this year.

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