Another epic day of corned beef and shamrocks will be upon us this weekend! Every year on March 17, spirited revelers don their green outfits and head to local pubs to commemorate this annual party day. It is a day rich with random tradition, which leads you to wonder — how much of it is fact, and how much is fiction? Like any folklore, the lines are blurred in most cases.
For an Irish holiday, many of the modern traditions associated with the holiday are debatably more American than Irish. St. Patrick’s Day originally began in Ireland, but the day included mass and a feast — largely different from today’s holiday of partying and drunken revelry. March 17 is the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, a British man credited with converting Ireland to Christianity. Stories about St. Patrick include tales of raising people from the dead and driving all the snakes out of Ireland. Today, most people agree that the snake story is symbolic of his missionary efforts in driving paganism from The Emerald Isle.
And the shamrocks? Well, there might be more historic truth behind that tradition. The story goes that St. Patrick used the three-leafed plant to teach his followers about the nature of the Holy Trinity. And wearing green clothing? Folklore says that green makes you invisible to leprechauns and fairies, thus avoiding their pinches. Other sources say the tradition started in America, either to commemorate the beginning of spring or pay homage to the green hills of Ireland. Turns out the Irish actually consider green to be bad luck — it was the color of their flag before the country was free.
Whether you decide to believe in leprechauns or stick with historical fact, St. Patrick’s Day is still a fun holiday to celebrate however you choose. But if you do come across a leprechaun’s stash and need to sell gold in Dallas, add a visit to Valley Goldmine to your list of St. Patty’s Day activities!