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Brought up Mar 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Muckross Church, Ireland; photo by me

What once was a Catholic celebration of the end of paganism in Ireland, Saint Patty’s day is now a celebration of all things Irish. In case the history interests you as much as the beer I have gathered some facts about the day.

How many Americans really are Irish?

Slightly over 35 million Americans claim Irish ancestry, and slightly over 25,000 Americans speak Gaelic at home. Over 93 million Americans plan to wear green during Saint Patty’s day.

Why do we wear Green?

Besides to avoid a pinching, wearing Green specifically should represent wearing a 3 leaf clover. Not a 4 leaf clover! St. Patrick used the clover to explain the Catholic trinity to the early pagan Irish. "Wearing the green" used to specifically refer to the wearing a clover.

The surest way to start a bar fight?

Arrive with a group of friends at the celebration wearing Orange and sporting pins that say F’U I’m Scottish. This is not recommended.

A bit of the naked history

It is best not to kid yourself when thinking about the phrase, “St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland.” Saint Patrick’s day is the celebration of a near genocidal campaign from the ancient Catholic church to convert or kill all of the druids and other pagans in Ireland. When celebrating what I like to think of as Irish Heritage day, take a moment to lift a glass to the Irish who fell under the Roman Catholic sword.


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