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St Patrick’s Day Symbols

What are the symbols usually associated with St Patrick? You probably know most of them but let’s brush upon their meanings and origins once again. Maybe you’ll find out some new interesting facts.

The Shamrock

A traditional symbol of Saint Patrick’s Day is the Shamrock.

„Shamrock“ is the common name for several different kinds of three-leafed clovers native to Ireland.

Legends say that St. Patrick used it to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity while converting Irish pagans to Christianity. The Trinity is the idea that God is really three-in-one: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

Patrick demonstrated the meaning of the Three-in-One by picking a shamrock from the grass growing at his feet and showing it to his listeners. He told them that just as the shamrock is one leaf with three parts, God is one entity with three Persons.

The shamrock is believed to bring good luck not only in Ireland but also worldwide.

Leprechauns

 The name leprechaun /ˈlɛprəkɔːn/ comes from the old Irish word „luchorpan“ which means „little body.“

A leprechaun is an Irish fairy who looks like a small, old man about 2 feet tall. He is often dressed like a shoemaker, with a crooked hat and a leather apron.

According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly. They live alone, and pass the time making shoes. They also have a hidden pot of gold!

Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker’s hammer. If the leprechaun is caught, he can be threatened to tell where his treasure is, but the leprechaun’s captors must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor’s eyes leave the leprechaun – he’s known to trick them into looking away – he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.

 The Colour Green

 In the beginning, the color of St. Patrick was not actually green, but blue! However, in the 19th century,  green became a symbol for Ireland. Ireland is also known as the ‘Emerald Isle’ because it is green throughout the whole year. Its beautiful green landscape was probably the inspiration for the national colour.

Wearing  green clothes is considered an act of paying tribute to Ireland. It is said that it also brings good luck, especially when worn on St. Patrick’s Day.

A long, long time ago, Irish children began the tradition of pinching people who forgot to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and the tradition is still practiced today.

St Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461.

In Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, people traditionally wear a small bunch of shamrocks on their jackets or caps.  Legend says that each leaf of the shamrock means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.
Children wear orange, white and green badges, and women and girls wear green ribbons in their hair.

Many cities have a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Dublin, the capital of Ireland, has a huge St. Patrick’s Day festival from March 15-19, that features a parade, family carnivals, treasure hunt, dance, theatre and more.

The harp is the symbol of Ireland. The color green is also commonly associated with Ireland, also known as “the Emerald Isle.”

The Irish flag is green, white and orange. The green symbolizes the people of the south, and orange, the people of the north. White represents the peace that brings them together as a nation.