“May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.” -Irish Blessing
In the next few days, everyone will be donning the ‘lucky’ green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, with some individuals even tinting their tongue, throat and esophagus green after drinking a number of green-dyed beer.
“That don’t impress me much,” as Shania Twain would say.
I’m curious to find out if the green dye exits the body the same colour, as well?
I guess I’ll never know.
Many individuals don’t know much about what and why they are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, so I asked my online ‘dad’ to fill me in on all the particulars.
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, so every year on March 17th folks around the world celebrate this day. He died in the fifth century, March 17, 461 CE; the day was originally designated a religious celebration but by the 1700s the holiday took a festive turn and was transformed into a secular event that includes parades, donning of the green and a lot of other shenanigans.
The green shamrock is the traditional plant of Ireland, as well as symbolic, noting that St. Patrick was said to use it to explain the Holy Trinity. The three leaves symbolize hope, faith and love, and if there is a fourth leaf, it symbolizes luck.
And what about luck and the Irish?
The definition of luck being, “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.”
To link luck and being Irish, apparently during the silver and gold rush years in the last half of the 19th century, a number of famous and successful Irish and Irish-American miners made their fortune. That led to the expression, ‘the luck of the Irish.’
And what about leprechauns?
They say they’re not elves, fairies or human, but mystical fictional entities that have developed over centuries through Irish culture and folklore.
These little guys are depicted as small, human-like creatures that don a green suit, buckled shoes and are accompanied by a pot of gold, trailed by rainbows and four leaf clovers too. Some believe that leprechauns are members of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a "supernatural" race found in Irish mythology.
Leprechauns are very private and love being alone. As legend has it, if you catch a leprechaun, they are obliged to grant you three wishes.
But a little word of advice.
“Never iron your four-leaf clover, because you don’t want to press your luck.” - Irish Proverb
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.