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  • Writer's pictureJan Peterson

Irish Traditions

Ever wonder how Saint Patrick's Day came to be?

Saint Patrick was actually born in Britain. At age 16 he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave. He later escaped, returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17), the Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years.

On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

How do we celebrate the holiday in modern times? Not much has changed. Here are some ways:

  1. Eating corned beef and cabbage

  2. Wearing a shamrock on your clothing

  3. Drowning a shamrock leaf in a glass of whisky

  4. Hoisting a Guinness

  5. Wearing green (the color leprechauns can't see)

  6. Wearing blue to honor Ireland's very first coat of arms

  7. Enjoying Celtic music and dance

  8. Going to mass, which is the core of this religious holiday.

"May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of St. Patrick behold you."

An Irish Blessing

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