Green, beer, Shamrocks, bagpipes and corn beef. According to National Geographic, 4.2 billion pints of beer are consumed worldwide.
Why is St. Patrick celebrated? Where did the correlation of the color green and this holiday come from and more importantly why is there so much drinking linked to this holiday?
Who was St. Patrick & Why do we celebrate him?
St. Patrick was a saint that lived during the fifth century born in Britain. He is celebrated for the way he ministered Christianity to Ireland. When he was 16 he was kidnapped by pirates and brought to Ireland as a slave. Eventually, he escaped then returned back to Ireland to bring Christianity/Catholicism to the people. St. Patrick’s death is believed to be March 17th, 461.
Why is the color Green everywhere as well as Shamrocks?
Most people believe that shamrocks correlate with St. Patrick’s day because “the luck of the Irish” but that simply isn’t the case. When St. Patrick was ministering to the country of Ireland about Jesus Christ he used a three-leaf shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Spirit, Son). That legend still lives on and is the traditional importance of the shamrock. According to Huffington Post, the original color associated with St.Patrick’s day was blue. Over time green took over in popularity because of Ireland’s nickname as “The Emerald Isle.” The green in the Irish flag and the green clover used in teaching about Catholicism also help the color transition.
So, why do people drink beer on St. Patty’s day?
Traditionally, on St. Patrick’s Day families attend church in the morning and proceed in other rituals like eating a traditional meal of cabbage and Irish bacon. But more commonly people drink on Saint Patrick’s days. This is because this day of celebration happens during Lent. Most Christians and Catholics are allowed to put aside their Lenten restrictions on food and alcohol consumptions for this celebration only. Which is why excessive drinking has become so engraved to the celebration.