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Ever wondered who St. Patrick is and why he has a special day every March 17? For starters, St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He’s the guy who brought Christianity into Ireland at around the year 432. As such, the Irish celebrate this day with mostly religious services and feasts.
This is in stark contrast to how St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in America. Mostly, people can be seen in green clothes, wearing top hats, and donning Irish attire of various kinds. There are even those people who would dress up as leprechauns. Aside from dressing up, people also enjoy feasting on Irish delicacies. A pint of Guinness would often be in the mix, along with potato soup, poundies, Irish coffee, and many others. In addition, there are also vast St. Patrick’s Day parades in cities all over the country. Both Irish and non-Irish Americans join the festivities.
What sets St. Patrick’s Day apart from other holidays is its unique symbolism in the form of the shamrock. It’s basically a three-leaf clover, which originally symbolized the Holy Trinity for the Irish. Each leaf represents the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as illustrated by St. Patrick when he brought Christianity to Ireland.
But many times during this holiday, a four-leaf clover is also common. Some say that the fourth leaf symbolizes luck. Totally unrelated to the Holy Trinity, but hey, as with any other holiday with an ancient origin, it can change with the passing of time.
St. Patrick’s Day means different things depending on which part of the world one is in. In Ireland, the holiday has a very religious significance. However, in the USA, it’s just another of those occasions to have both food and fun. Three things are certain, though: the color green, leprechauns, and the shamrock. St. Patrick’s Day will always come with these symbols.