Will you get a Kiss or a Pinch this Saint Patrick’s Day?
|We’re approaching one of the stranger holidays of the year. It’s a holiday that gives us the excuse to pinch our friends, consume an abnormal amount of food coloring, and tell people to kiss us because of our heritage. We raid our wardrobes or shop for whatever green we can get our hands on, decorate ourselves and our belongings with four-leaf clovers and gift our friends and family with an array of products featuring Irish symbols of Luck, celebration and well being. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day.|
|Stories about the man behind the celebration have become a little clouded by exaggeration over the years, so who was St. Patrick, really? Well forget what you’ve heard about raising the dead and banishing snakes, because here’s the real story.
It turns out St. Patrick was originally from Britain. When he was sixteen, Irish raiders captured and kept him captive for six years, working alone as a shepherd. During this time, he became a devoted Christian and finally escaped to Britain after a dream in which God told him it was time to leave Ireland. He studied to become a priest for fifteen years before returning to Ireland to convert the Irish and minister to the Christians already living there. His approach to conversion was incorporating the symbols the Irish already used, for instance a sun, with regular Christian symbols, such as a cross, creating today’s Celtic Cross.
OK, that’s Interesting you say, but why green? And why do we pinch our friends? Whose idea was it to kiss the Irish? This may not come as a surprise, but only one of those things originated in Ireland. The rest are all American. To “wear green” initially meant to wear a shamrock, the Irish symbol St. Patrick used to describe the Holy Trinity, on your clothes. In keeping with the trine… The Shamrock represents the Celtic tradition meaning- “trust in your soul,” “belief in your heart” and “faith in your mind.
Pinching came about around the emergence of St. Patrick’s Day in America, when it was thought that wearing green would make you invisible to the Leprechauns. If they saw you, they would pinch you. But why would a Leprechaun pinch you, aren’t they those cute little Lucky Charm Guys? Leprechauns – were actually spirited and tricky little fellows who were employed by Irish Fairies to make their shoes. The Fairies paid the Leprechauns with Gold Coins which they saved in a metal pot. (Thus the pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow). So in order to warn our friends to watch out for the Leprechauns, we pinch them ourselves if they’re not wearing green.
“kiss me, I’m Irish” has no real beginning, (other than a slogan on bowling caps) But is said to reference the Blarney Stone. Kissing the Blarney stone brings you good luck so if you can’t kiss the stone the next best chance of getting good luck is “kissing an Irish person.” So…. Kissing an Irish might bring you some luck, but if not, it’s a good excuse for a little extra affection! So this March, wear your green with pride whether it’s in celebration of your own roots or just joining in the celebration! And….May your blessings out number the shamrocks that grow and may trouble avoid you wherever you go! Happy St. Patty’s Day!
This St Patrick’s Day be sure to decorate in Green for Luck and the avoidance of that pinch!
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