The year starts slowly with a New Year’s celebration, then a few weeks later Valentine’s Day is in the air and fills the ambiance with hearts and red balloons.
Before spring kicks in and turns the world into a warmer and brighter place, there is one more event that we love to celebrate each year, we’re talking of course about St. Patrick 's Day.
This event, celebrated on March 17 each year, is a huge celebration that takes place all over the US and usually sees breathtaking parades take place in big cities, as well as festivals and public celebrations filled with people with green-painted faces and huge Irish hats.
But what is the real meaning behind St. Patrick 's Day? When did it start? How is it currently celebrated? And what are some of the most original St. Patrick’ s Day gifts to give to your beloved? Let us explore it in this article.
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The origin of St. Patrick's Day
The most notable thing to mention regarding St. Patrick’s Day is that it all started out as a religious holiday (like most of the modern holidays).
For those who do not know, St. Patrick is the patron of the country of Ireland. He was born in Britain in the Fourth Century and moved to Ireland when he was about 16 years old, when he was sent to work in the country.
When St. Patrick arrived in Ireland, he started getting more and more interested in Christianity, so naturally he started teaching others about this religion.
It is said that St. Patrick converted most of the Ireland citizens into Christians, and now this day is celebrated supposedly on the day that he died: March 17th.
Despite him being an especially important character for Ireland and now in the US, there are many myths attributed to St. Patrick, among them we can find the fact that he “scared away” all the snakes out of Ireland and the fact that he used a four-leaf clover in his teachings.
Why is green the color of St. Patrick’s Day
You might have heard how people sometimes call Ireland the Emerald Isle. This is due to the fact that Ireland is an island filled with leafy trees and grassy hills.
You might think that therefore green is the official color of St. Patrick’s Day, but in fact the color that was originally associated with this character was blue.
Green was introduced to St. Patrick’s Day festivities until the 18th Century. It was during these times that the shamrock became a national symbol, and due to its popularity along Ireland’s landscape the color really stuck as a token of this holiday.
Asides from that, green is also the most representative color of mythical creatures such as leprechauns.
Modern Traditions on St. Patrick’s Day
There is a tradition related to Irish folklore that says that wearing green makes people invisible to the eyes of leprechauns, which are mischievous creatures who like to pinch people that pass in front of them.
That is why the tradition asks for people to wear green, otherwise others will pinch them. Some people also believe that using green color is a token of good luck, while others like to sport it in honor of their Irish ancestry.
Green is such a popular color on St. Patrick’s Day that even the Chicago River in Illinois is dyed green each year to celebrate the holiday.
Another beloved tradition among Irish American communities during this holiday is to eat corned beef and cabbage, typically while people gather to watch the traditional Irish parades filled with dancers and musicians as they march all through the streets.
The most important thing is that people hope to be lucky on St. Patrick 's Day.
St. Patrick’s Day gift ideas
Asides from the typical holiday celebrations, it is also a tradition to give gifts to people who surround you like your family, friends and even your coworkers or classmates.
If you are looking for cute St. Patrick’s Day gifts, you could find some sort of fake golden coins and place them on a plastic cauldron (the treasure of the leprechaun), sweet green treats like cookies, cupcakes, or even thin mints, plush or cardboard Irish hats and even handmade hairbands to adorn your head.
St. Patrick’s Day gifts should be a bright green color and be shiny enough to call the attention of the person you are giving them to.
In fact, you can also look for an incredibly special four-leaf clover or simply draw it yourself and give it a nice “good luck” gesture.
Now that you know the origin of St. Patrick’s Day, how did it originally begin and how people celebrate it nowadays, the only thing missing is to look for the perfect gift to give to the people you care about.
Remember that every holiday is a good reason to give gifts and St. Patrick’s is not the exception.