St. Patrick’s Day 2019
St. Patrick’s Day 2019 is celebrated on the 17th of March. St. Patrick’s Day has a fixed date. Find out the significance and history of this holiday in this article!
When Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day is always celebrated on the March 17. It is believed that in the fifth century, on March 17, St. Patrick died. The day was officially recognized asa Christian feast day in the 17th century, though there are accounts that the Irish have been celebrating this day for over 1000 years.
While St. Patrick’s Day has a fixed date, the date has been moved a few times. This has happened when St. Patrick’s Day coincided with the Holy Week. In Catholic tradition, saints’ feasts are not observed when they coincide with other major Christian celebtrations. In these cases, the saint’s day is moved to another date.
For St. Patrick’s Day, this happened most recently in 2008, when March 17th coincided with Palm Sunday. St. Patrick’s Day was observed on the 3rd of April instead.
Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick was a 5th century Christian missionary, credited with having brought Christianity to Ireland. It is believed that among the miracles he performed was driving out all of the snakes from Ireland. In addition, he is also believed to be the originator of the shamrock as a symbol. The shamrock is often confused with another symbol often associated with the Irish, the four-leaved clover. However, the two are very different, both in terms of look and in terms of meaning. The story goes that St. Patrick used a three-leaved clover to explain the Trinity to the pagans of Ireland. For this reason, St. Patrick is often depicted holding a cross in one hand, and a shamrocks in the other.
St. Patrick is considered the patron saint of Ireland, for bringing Christianity to the islands and the miracles he performed. It is customary to wear green and display shamrocks on this day. This holiday is particularly popular among the Irish diaspora, as a day in which to reaffirm one’s national identity.
St. Patrick’s Day is also infamous for drinking. In Catholic Ireland, drinking and feasting would not be permitted, due to the fact that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated during Lent. However, these restrictions are lifted on St. Patrick’s Day. In Ireland, there is a particular custom tied with the drinking of alcohol known as “drowning the shamrock” or “wetting the shamrock”. The idea is to place a shamrock on the bottom of the glass or cup one is drinking from. The glass is then filled with alcohol, either beer, whiskey or cider. Then, the glass or cup is drunk as a toast to St. Patrick. The shamrock can be swallowed or picked out after the glass is empty, and thrown over the shoulder. This is believed to bring one good luck.