I’m not Irish but I still enjoy a glass of Guinness when I raise a toast to St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland on St Patrick’s day on 17th March.
An interesting fact for me – as I live in Wales – is that St Patrick was Welsh! He was born around AD 385 and later was captured by pirates, spending six years in slavery before escaping and traveling to Ireland as a missionary. He is credited for bringing Christianity to Ireland.
The most famous legend about Saint Patrick is that he drove all snakes from Ireland. According to the story, this happened when he was fasting for 40 days on top of a hill. He
chased the slithering reptiles into the sea after they began attacking him. Whether you believe this story or not, the fact is that Ireland is one of only a handful of places worldwide—including New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland, and Antarctica—where snakes are not found.
St Patrick’s day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death in AD 461.
It is normally an excuse for parties, big parades and the drinking of much Guinness, wearing bright green clothes and hats, and a reason to get together for Irish all over the world.
Of all the patron saints of the UK, St Patrick sends to be celebrated much more than the others. Indeed the ‘days’ for St David (Wales), St George (England) and St Andrew (Scotland) almost pass without a murmur.
The national plant of Ireland is the shamrock. And if you find one with four leaves, it is considered very lucky. I’m still searching!
Another Irish legend relates to the leprechauns. Ireland’s ‘little’ people who guard the pots of gold at the end of the rainbows. A leprechaun is usually described as a very small bearded man who wears a green suit and hat. They are considered quite mischievous and play tricks on humans.
I don’t really want to meet one, but I’ll be happy with his pot of gold!!!
Wherever you are and whether you are Irish or not, have a happy St Patrick’s day and enjoy a glass of Guinness in his honour