There many traditions and myths associated with St. Patrick’s Day which is celebrated on the anniversary of Saint Patrick’s death every March 17th. St. Patrick’s Day and luck are often thought of together for many reasons. After such a stressful last year, I think everyone would love to have a little extra luck this year! Below we look at some of the traditions and myths associated with St. Patrick’s Day.
Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was kidnapped in Britain by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16. He escaped back to Britain after 6 years but later returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people.
Shamrock – A shamrock, a three-leaf clover, is the traditional symbol of Saint Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick used a shamrock leaves to show the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) within the clover. Myth has it that finding a shamrock will bring you luck. When the English began to seize Irish land and make laws against practicing Catholicism. The shamrock became a symbol of their pride in their heritage.
Four Leaf Clovers -Four leaf clovers are supposed to ward off bad luck and protect against evil spirits. Myth has it that the three leaves of a shamrock stand for faith, hope and love, while the fourth leaf is luck.
Leprechauns – Myth also has it that you will be pinched by a leprechaun if you don’t wear green on St Patrick’s Day as leprechauns can’t see the color green. Wearing green bis supposed to bring good luck as well! Leprechauns are known to be cobblers of the fairy world and live in small underground caves.
Horseshoe – Horseshoes have come to symbolize luck and security from evil. Saint Dunstan was supposed to shoe the Devil’s horse. Instead, Dunstan nailed the horseshoe to the Devil’s foot and agreed to remove it if the Devil promised to never enter a household with a horseshoe on the door.
Pot of gold –Finding a pot of gold is supposed to bring success, fulfillment, happiness hope and prosperity. Leprechauns were famously known to possess their prized pots and traditionally hide this treasure at the end of a rainbow.
Rabbits foot – The Celts believed rabbits brought luck. Because rabbits usually reside underground, they were thought to be in constant contact with gods and spirits of the underworld and are therefore considered to have a protective power.
Corn beef and Cabbage – Ham and cabbage was eaten in Ireland, while corned beef offered a cheaper substitute for poor immigrants. Irish-Americans living in poverty in Manhattan in the late 19th century and early 20th, purchased leftover corned beef from ships returning from the tea trade in China. The Irish would boil the beef three times—the last time with cabbage—to remove some of the brine.. Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick’s Day to share a “traditional” meal of corned beef and cabbage.
This St Patrick’s Day will be filled with lots of extra luck!