Paddy's day is here! A day to dress in Green, sing folksongs, join the parades, drink a pint of Guiness and... research your Irish roots.
The story behind St Patrick is unknown to many, but goes something like this:
St. Patrick wasn't Irish, he was British. He was, the story has it, born in the year 390 AD to a wealthy Christian family and was used to the privileges of wealth of the time such as villas and slaves.
At 16, Patrick was kidnapped and sent to Ireland where he was to tend sheep as a slave in the cold, mountainous countryside. He was there for seven years.
According to the story, one day, a voice came to Patrick in his dreams, telling him to escape the countryside.
And so he did, and Patrick found his way back to Britain on a fsihing ship where he was reunited with his family. But upon his return, he did not recieve the warm welcom he had hoped. As such, he found refuge in the local church, it was here that Patrick had his revelation.
As the story goes, Patrick wasn't particularly interested in Christianity at a young age, but the call of the divine intervention makes him return to Ireland to proselytizing Chrisitanity and spread the wealth of his new knowledge. He was later where he is ordained as a priest in Ireland. Story goes that he would use the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, it became part of Irish lore that the the fourth pedal on a four leaf clover represented St. Patrick.
He died on March 17, 461 and though his story has been largely forgotten in modern times, the legend of the Patron Saint of Ireland lives on through the tradition of St. Patrick's day. A holiday that was initially much smaller in scope, a feast to be enjoyed with family . It has since grown to include many traditions, some of which we highlighted in the post we wrote last year.
Now the Irish diaspora, and many others, celebrate this festive day around the world. So if you're green to the scene , it's a day to wear green, to call any and all of your Irish friends and relatives, and have ye self some green biscuits, and green pint, and to celebrate the luck of the Irish.
If you're not keen to go out and party but are interested in Ireland and your Irish legacy, you can try entering your surname into our search engine which includes databases such as Irish.com, Ireland's gravestone Index or Irish origins.
Oh yes, and if your are in Ireland and you were counting on wearing a shamrock today, the St. Patty's tradition, you might be out of luck! Apparently, there is a bit of a shortage of the clover.
Search for your ancestors: