Saint Patrick’s Day (MC-3)

Saint Patrick’s Day is a Christian celebrated holiday that started on March 17, 461, it was created to commemorate the death of the patron saint, Patrick’s death. Saint Patrick’s Day is also used as an annual reminder of Saint Patrick and how he provided opportunities to acclaim his legacy of cultural and religious values. It’s generally celebrated with lots of food, drinking, parades, and usual celebrations.

Life of Saint Patrick

St. PatricksPatrick, originally born Maewyn, was born in Roman Britain, but was then kidnapped into slavery and brought to Ireland. He eventually escaped slavery and went to a monastery in Gaul, France, where he converted to Christianity. In 432, he went back to Ireland where he acted as a missionary. Though most of the country was already dominated by Christianity, tradition states that Saint Patrick had confronted Druids at Tara and attempted to abolish their pagan rites and convert them to Christianity, in which he was successful. After his role of a missionary, Saint Patrick became a bishop and preached throughout Ireland. By the end of his life, Patrick had converted many of the people in Ireland, who weren’t already Christians, to Christianity. After his death, Patrick was named the patron saint of Ireland. The celebrations in Ireland were understated at the time, so many emigrated to the United States, where they created bigger celebrations and parades.

Origin

There are multiple conclusions on where Saint Patrick’s Day first originated, one source says that it started in Ireland, where Saint Patrick had moved to from England and spread Christianity. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah said that it was started by Irish immigrants that were seeking to maintain their identity in the United States. While, there are many theories on how it started, one thing is clear and that is that ultimately, it was used to celebrate the death of Patrick, whose birth name was Maewyn.

Celebrations

St. PatricksSince the fifth century, the celebrations for Saint Patrick’s became larger and more extravagant because of the immigrated people from Ireland. In 1962, Chicago started dyeing the the river green. It originally began because city officials were testing it for plumbing problems within the sewers and the chemical spread, dyeing the river green. Now, they dye the river with forty-five pounds of green vegetable dye. There are also many parades, feasts, and parties that are celebrated around the world in connection to Saint Patrick’s Day. All in all, there were many types of celebrations that occurred throughout the years, which all had similarities and differences with each other.

Symbols

There are many different symbols used to represent Saint Patrick’s Day. The most discernible symbol  known is the shamrock. Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity to the pagans and the unbelievers of Christianity. Other symbols include a snake or serpent, which was symbolism for the “snakes” Patrick wanted to get out of Ireland. Another symbol was the celtic cross, the celtic cross was a cross that had sun displayed behind it. The sun was thought to be added by Saint Patrick himself and was added behind the emblem for Christianity. There are different symbols that can be more Irish like the harp, the leprechaun, and the pot of gold. Most symbols are relevant to Christianity or to the more American Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.

Connections to World History

St. PatricksThere are many possible connections to world history from Saint Patrick’s Day. One of the most credible connections is that Patrick was once a missionary and there were missionaries throughout history for a multitude of religions, including Islam. Another connection is that the holiday itself brings identity and solidarity to those involved. Saint Patrick’s Day and its participants forms a sense of unity among all those concerned, this happened all throughout world history with writing, religion, and language. A final connection is within the festivity there has to be a sense of commitment. Using Chicago for example, it takes a lot of money and an enormous amount of dye to turn the river green and every year since 1962, they’ve dyed the river which takes a great deal of engagement every year.  In many civilizations around the world there had to be some sort of commitment from everybody or the political or social system wouldn’t be functional. Whether a person committed to a specialized area of work or they committed to the empire itself, there should’ve always been some pledge from everyone that they would stick with the civilization. Although there are a lot more affiliations to world history, I believe that these are some of the most important examples for this holiday.

Evolution

Saint Patrick’s Day began as a pretty small holiday, starting in either Ireland or parts of the United States, the festivity was celebrated pretty muted. There was food and dancing and normal holiday celebrations, but there wasn’t a lot of drinking or green like there is in the United States today. Even in modern day Ireland, they’re a lot more conservative than people are here in America. This leads us to believe that Saint Patrick’s Day had actually started in Ireland because on its way over it could’ve become twisted and the point of origination is more likely to stay true to the original beliefs. Though the Irish stuck to the standards and values of the holiday, there was some difference between the beginning of the holiday in Ireland to modern day Ireland. In Ireland, it became less conservative than it was before the holiday really developed. While most Americans don’t even know what Saint Patrick’s Day represents. Today, in America it is celebrated with lots of alcohol, food, and seas of green across the nation. There was a very large evolution over time among countries and civilizations, but they all had the same basis for their beliefs.

Modern Day Connections

St. PatricksWhile some might believe that there are only world history connections, there are also modern day connections. Since the 1990s, Irish prime ministers attended functions on or before Saint Patrick’s Day, where they would present a shamrock to the president of the United States. A similar presentation is also presented to the Speaker of the House. The shamrock not only represents the holy trinity, but it represents an agreement or alliance between the United States and Ireland. Since 1995, the Irish government sought to make Saint Patrick’s Day an opportunity to show off Ireland and Irish culture. This day showed off Irish culture and Ireland because it gave people insight on how the Irish worked, what they believed in, and how they thought systems should be run.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a lot of different ways Saint Patrick’s Day affected many people throughout the world. From missionaries to celebration rituals, there are a variety of differences, as well as similarities that helped created Saint Patrick’s Day into what it was meant to be. Along the way, there were variations of a lot of different aspects of the holiday. Values and evolutions contributed a lot to the festivity and gave other civilizations, countries, and empires insight into of Irish culture worked and how they wanted to live their lives. Overall, many variables went into creating the incredible holiday of Saint Patrick’s Day we have today.

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