Funny Friday: St. Paddy’s Day Exposed

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This Funny Friday, let’s take a look at ye ol’ man, myth and legend, St. Patrick, before we raise our glasses and dye our rivers to celebrate his work.

Most people revere St. Patrick as a champion of Ireland and Catholicism, as he (allegedly) banished all the snakes from Ireland and dedicated much of his life to converting pagans to the Catholic faith. While there’s some understandable speculation and confusion about expelling snakes–translations may have substituted snake for frog, as snakes are not likely native to the country, and the reptiles may be symbolic of expelling the pagan religion from Ireland–there’s some more factual things we know about Paddy that strengthen his legend.

Maewyn’s Day doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

While not completely contrary to the lore surrounding St. Patrick, the vision many of us hold of him isn’t entirely representative of his life. Paddy was born in England, named Maewyn, and lived his life as a pagan until he was 16. He was abducted and enslaved by Irish pirates who took him to the emerald isles until a voice (God) told him it was time for him to leave. He packed his bags, hitched a ride to England and kept going until he finally settled down in France. Paddy spent 20 years as a monk in Marmoutier Abbey in France before he realized his true calling was to convert Irish pagans to Christianity.

Ireland didn’t start the parade

Here in the states, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day to a green-beer infused excess–1% of annual beer consumption happens on the March 17th. We actually celebrate this day with more alcohol and enthusiasm than our friends in Ireland, where St. Partick’s day was a dry holiday until 1970 and where more pubs are closed than are open on the 17th of March (they are open on the ides). The tradition of a parade started here in the states and has since spread to other areas; the first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in Boston in 1737.

We’re up all night to get lucky

People do some strange things to bring the luck o’ the Irish to their side for St. Pat’s. According to lore, leprechauns cannot see people who are wearing green and will pinch those unlucky few who aren’t wearing the color of Ireland. Traditionally, wearing a shamrock on March 17 was a way to symbolize pride for Irish and Christian heritage. The tradition evolved to rocking green on green ensembles for fear of being pinched by leprechauns (or overzealous green-clad celebrators).

Let’s pucker up and kiss the blarney stone, dye the river and don our green gear for some extra luck this St. Paddy’s day!

“The Scots have their whisky, the Welsh have their tongue, but the Irish have Paddy, who’s second to none!”

Cover Photo Source: mareandmare

Mary is an Assistant Account Executive at SJG. She earned her BA in Communication from the University of Evansville in 2013. In her spare time, when she’s not engulfing novels in a coffee shop, Mary feels most at home celebrating life and love with her family and friends, and visiting the streets of Paris in her dreams.