Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Are you wearing green? origins and other symbols


March 17th is St. Patrick's Day!!  
The day everyone is a wee bit Irish!!
And tis' makes it the traditional wearing
 of the green as well.


I am going to test your knowledge about this day 
 and see what you really know. 
Do not worry there are no failing grades, 
just some fun to pass the time before the green beer arrives! 

St. Patrick: It all starts with the man... 
The patron saint of Ireland and the Irish, was born about 385 A.D. in Northern Wales. He studied religion in Europe to become a priest and bishop. He then brought Christianity to the Irish by teaching in Ireland for 29 years. He died on March 17, 461 AD. The anniversary of his death is celebrated as Saint Patrick's Day. Another tale about Patrick is that he drove the snakes from Ireland. Different versions of the story, tell of him standing upon a hill, using a wooden staff to drive the serpents into the sea, banishing them forever from Ireland. One version says that an old serpent resisted banishment, but that Patrick outwitted him. Patrick made a box and invited the snake to enter. The snake insisted it was too small and the two argued. Finally to prove his point, the snake entered the box to show how tight the fit was. Patrick slammed the lid closed and threw the box into the sea.
  The stories of Saint Patrick and the snakes are likely a metaphor for his bringing Christianity to Ireland and driving out the pagan religions (serpents were a common symbol in many of these religions).

  The symbol of Shamrocks:  
An Irish tale tells of how Patrick used the green three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity. He used it in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity. His followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on his feast day.
The shamrock was chosen Ireland's national emblem because of the legend that St. Patrick had used it to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity. 
Patrick demonstrated the meaning of the Three-in-One by picking a shamrock from the grass growing at his feet and showing it to his listeners. He told them that just as the shamrock is one leaf with three parts, God is one entity with three Persons.
  The shamrock was sacred to the Druids, so Saint Patrick’s use of it in explaining the trinity was very wise.
The Irish have considered shamrocks as good-luck symbols since earliest times, and today people of many other nationalities also believe they bring good luck.


And what would a St. Patrick's Day celebration be without Leprechauns!! 

The name leprechaun comes from the old Irish word "luchorpan" which means "little body." A leprechaun is an Irish fairy who looks like a small, old man about 2 feet tall. He is often dressed like a shoemaker, with a crooked hat and a leather apron.  According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly. They live alone, and pass the time making shoes. They also have a hidden pot of gold! Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer. If the leprechaun is caught, he can be threatened with bodily violence to tell where his treasure is, but the leprechaun's captors must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor's eyes leave the leprechaun - he's known to trick them into looking away - he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.

The Celtic Cross :
Saint Patrick was familiar with the Irish language and culture, because of his time as a slave there. When Patrick went back to Ireland to convert the Irish to Christianity, he was successful because he didn't try to make the Irish forget their old beliefs. He combined their old beliefs with the new beliefs. One example of this is the Celtic Cross. Saint Patrick added the sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that the new symbol of Christianity would be more natural to the Irish.

Believe it or not, the color of St. Patrick was not actually green, but blue! In the 19th century, however, green became used as a symbol for Ireland. In Ireland, there is plentiful rain and mist, so the 'Emerald Isle' really is green all year-round. The beautiful green landscape was probably the inspiration for the national color.

 Wearing the color green is considered an act of paying tribute to Ireland. It is said that it also brings good luck, especially when worn on St. Patrick's Day.
Many long years ago, playful Irish children began the tradition of pinching people who forgot to wear green on St. Patrick's Day and the tradition is still practiced today. Now you wouldn't go thinking this is all a blarney tale???  

The symbol of the Blarney Stone :
The word "Blarney" has come to mean nonsense or smooth flattering talk in almost any language. Tradition says that if you pay a visit to Blarney Castle in County Cork and kiss the Blarney Stone, you'll receive the gift of eloquence and powers of persuasion, a true master of the "gift of gab."

The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney.
The castle was built in 1446 by Cormac Laidhiv McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) -- its walls are 18 feet thick (necessary to stop attacks by Cromwellians and William III's troops). Thousands of tourists a year still visit the castle.
The origins of the Blarney Stone's magical properties aren't clear, but one legend says that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly.
It's difficult to reach the stone -- it's between the main castle wall and the parapet. Kissers have to lie on their back and bend backward (and downward), holding iron bars for support.
 The world famous Blarney Stone is situated high up in the battlements of the castle. Follow one of the several long, stone spiral staircases up to the top and enjoy the spectacular views of the lush green Irish countryside, Blarney House and The Village of Blarney.
The stone is believed to be half of the Stone of Scone which originally belonged to Scotland. Scottish Kings were crowned over the stone, because it was believed to have special powers.
The stone was given to Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314 in return for his support in the Battle of Bannockburn.

 Today will not be hard to find all manner of celebrations in honor of St. Patrick's Day and the Emerald Ilse. Here in America at least, it is all not all about shamrocks and pots of gold but finding the treasure of the green liquid that is called beer!! Singing and getting sloshed, and telling tales...
So if you decide to raise a toast with a fine sip of Irish Whiskey or a pint of Guinness please pick out the poor soul who is to be the designated driver for the annual pub crawl.


May good luck be with you Wherever you go , 
And your blessings outnumber the green shamrocks that grow.


A Happy and safe St. Patrick's Day to everyone!
So what will you do so you don't 
           get pinched tomorrow???



  1. I hope you have a wonderful St Patrick's Day! And thanks for the reminder to wear green...hopefully I'll remember and avoid any pinching!

  2. Interesting tidbits! I never knew so much about St. Patrick's Day!

  3. Happy St. Patrick's Day! What a tremendous amount of information - didn't know all of that, and the family is Irish! 'tis!

  4. I'm a wee bit Irish, and will absolutely be wearing green to celebrate the day! Happy WW St. Patrick's Day! Double Luck!

  5. Wow! I feel like I just receive a crash course on St. Patrick's Day--thanks! Great information, and happy St. Patrick's Day! =)

  6. What a fun post! As an Irish lass, I quite enjoyed all of your fun facts. Thanks for paying a visit to my blog. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  7. If I wear green it will be accidental rather than by design. Pinching isn't all bad ;) and definitely preferable to what it repents as it is a somewhat mythical scaled down version of the very real bloody batterings which occurred during Catholic/Protestant conflicts and battles which have taken place over the centuries. Shamrocks are so much sweeter!!!

  8. I love the last picture.

  9. Anonymous7:29 AM

    You put time, energy, history and love into this post. Must be a touch of Irish in yerself.
    I am always the designated driver.

  10. Not enough green here! Hoping nobody pinches me! ;)

  11. Wow, thanks for all the great info! Glad you found me, happy WW!

  12. Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

    I already knew all that stuff because I'm almost 100% Irish. LOL It was a requirement in my family to know our heritage and everything possible about Ireland.

  13. Well, I hope your St. Patty's Day was grand... Downing some of my Guinness now.. Okay actually it's a Black Velvet so not ALL of it is Guinness...

  14. What fun to read! I was feeling festive today too!


  15. Anonymous9:42 PM

    i actually love all your writing kind, very remarkable.
    don't give up and also keep penning considering the fact that it just simply that is worth to look through it.
    looking forward to look at more and more of your content, stunning day ;)

  16. thank you everyone for your kind comments!
    Anonymous esp!
    It really made a bright light in my heart today :)
    hugs everyone!

  17. Wow, you REALLY do know a lot about St. Patrick's Day! I got to thinking about it and the dog that we should probably ask about pinching is not the Irish Settler, but the Doberman Pincher!

    You seem like a pretty cool Granny Mouse. I may have to come back. Feel free to come snack on the cheese anytime!


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