St. Patrick's Day - the holiday of spring Ireland
St. Patrick's Day is the annual national Irish festival, which is held in honor of the famous patron of this country. According to legend, it was he who brought Christianity to the country, eradicating paganism, and he also drove snakes from the island. For the Irish, this is a fun, colorful, spring holiday.
When is St. Patrick's Day celebrated? It occurs in the early spring, March 17, when young leaves and grass are especially fresh and green. Although originally this holiday was celebrated only in Ireland, now the tradition is spread all over the world.
A well-known joke says: "On this day, anyone who wants can become Irish." What are the customs of this holiday?
Although it is believed that the Christianization of Ireland was conducted by Saint Patrick, there are signs that this religion existed there before him. Moreover, some scholars generally tend to believe that Saint Patrick is nothing more than a character of legends. It is well known that in 373 AD a boy named Mavin Sukkat was born in Britain. He was very far from Christianity, but at the age of sixteen he was taken into slavery and taken to Ireland. It was in conditions of heavy bondage that he came to religion, and a new faith helped him to survive.
When at last he managed to free himself, he went to Gaul, where he became a minister of the church and was named Patrick. Then he returned to his native country as a missionary, preaching Christianity.
Despite the fact that, logically, St. Patrick's Day is closely associated with Christianity, this holiday is an intertwining of both pagan and Christian traditions. To venerate the deeds of the saint, for example, you can include climbing Mount Cro-Patrick, on which, according to legend, the saint drove out all the snakes from the country.
Another tribute to Christianity is the decoration of houses and clothes with a green shamrock, which symbolizes the cross.To folk traditions is that on St. Patrick's Day you need to drink at least a glass of alcohol in an Irish pub, and before that you need to put a trefoil leaf in it. This is called "drain the trefoil." After this, it is necessary to take out a sheet of wine and throw it over your left shoulder.
The traditional color of clothes on this day is green. It symbolizes Ireland, spring and shamrock. In general, the Irish are guided by the rule: the more green - the better! And in Chicago, even the river is painted every year in green!
On St. Patrick's Day in Ireland and around the world, mass parades are held in extravagant costumes, in which famous brass bands with bagpipes take part.In addition to all this, the invariable image of the holiday is leprechauns - mythical characters, each of which, according to legend, has a bag of gold. But if the gold gets into the wrong hands, then it dissolves in the air, so there is no reason to ask or take away from the leprechauns. In honor of funny characters, holiday participants always wear high green cylinders.
Although St. Patrick's Day falls on Lent, the Irish are full of meat dishes, while not violating the restrictions. How is this possible? This is another holiday magic. According to the Catholic tradition, fish is considered to be a lean dish, so it was believed that St. Patrick makes fish, which is put in a pan this day. So people are happy, and fasting is not broken.
Traditional cabbage was formerly considered cabbage with bacon, but later it was replaced by salty meat, which was brought to Irish cuisine by American immigrants.
Another characteristic feature is that almost all the festive dishes on this day, even sweet ones, add ... beer!
It's impossible to miss St. Patrick's Day. If you left in the spring on the street, and everything around is green, the river pours beer and loud bagpipes sound - do not doubt, it's the favorite holiday of all Irishmen!