To most people, the holiday St. Patrick’s Day is all about green, gold, and leprechauns. They think it’s a day to celebrate the Irish, eat potato-filled feasts, and hope to see a rainbow. The truth to this holiday is that it was created to celebrate and honor Saint Patrick.
Surprisingly, Saint Patrick was born in the UK but, is an Irish saint. To be more specific, Patrick was born under the name of Maewyn Succat in 385 C.E. and in Britannia, United Kingdom. The length between the United Kingdom and Ireland is about 459.8 km (285.7 miles) and Maewyn didn’t exactly move to a new house so he could become an Irish saint.
When he was 16 years old, Succat was kidnapped by Irish raiders who were attacking his village. For almost six years Patrick worked as a slave for his master, a chief from Ireland. While he was the chief’s slave, Maewyn converted from Pagan to a Christian. His religion change is thought to also be the reason why Maewyn changed his name to Patrick (to be more specific Patricius). Eventually, Patrick escaped and decided to help build schools and churches all over Ireland.
Even though Maewyn was severely ill-treated by his master, he still forgave him and wanted to tell him that in person. When he reached his old master’s house he found it being burned down. Maewyn found out later that his master had thrown all of his prized possessions into his house, set the house aflame, then, tossed himself into it.
There are many other tales about St. Patrick. Such as, unbelievable ones like how he may have brought people back from the dead, or herded all of the snakes out of and away from Ireland. Strangely though, Patrick didn’t officially become a saint until almost 640 years after he died.
St. Patrick’s Day started out as an Irish holiday on March 17 (When St. Patrick died) represented by the color blue. Slowly, the holiday began to be celebrated by Catholics and the Irish and its theme color became green. Today, this holiday is celebrated by all religions and people on March 17 with the colors green and gold.
The beloved tradition of pinching anyone not wearing green, was created by Americans when they started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the 1700’s. Now, most people think of Saint Patrick as a small, red-haired man, dressed in green, that gave out gold. Instead of the man who, after escaping slavery, helped build schools and churches. Next St. Patrick’s Day try to think of it as a day to honor someone and not just a day, to pinch someone, during spring break.
By: Peyton Erb
Photo Credits: http://www.al.com