Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SPOTLIGHT: St. Patrick's Day

If this has been celebrated here in the Philippines, this would be something I must see..Everything is GREEN, which is obviously my favorite color. It's celebrated today March 17 (of every year). But to those unfamiliar with this Catholic celebration, we all have the same question..What is St. Patrick' Day all about?

Who is St. Patrick?
St. Patrick's Day is named after St. Patrick, the most commonly recognized among the patron saints of Ireland. He was born in Roman Britain back in 387AD into a wealthy Romano-British family. At the age of 13, he was kidnapped and taken captive in Ireland as a slave. He was told by God in a dream to flee captivity to the coast. He boarded a ship to Britain. Upon returning, he quickly joined the Church in Auxerre in Gaul and studied to be a priest. So basically, he became the fore-bearer of Irish Christianity

What's with the color Green and the Shamrock?
The original color associated with St. Patrick is blue. However, since 17th century, they associated the celebration with the color green because of the shamrock. The shamrock is a symbol of Ireland. It is a three-leafed old white clover. St. Patrick is said to have used the three leafed shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. So having a shamrock on one's clothing or wearing green outfits during the day commemorates St. Patrick's Day.

Where and how it's celebrated?
It is celebrated in several countries other than Ireland such as United States, Argentina, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Montserrat, Canada and even in South Korea. All have parades in common. Argentina has street parties and beer party (only beer is allowed). Wearing green clothing or something green on one's attire is also a tradition. In the US, the Chicago River is dyed green every year for the celebration. In the northeastern US, they plant peas in St. Patrick's day.

Here's a picture of the green-dyed Chicago River

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