In our modern culture St. Patrick’s Day means fun, parades, some alcoholic beverages, the color green, Irish food, four leaf clovers, leprechauns, rainbows, pots of gold and maybe some dancing – and anything else Irish we can think of!! It’s a day to have fun with appreciation of the Irish culture.
Google gives us this instruction: The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. (Céilithe means dance party.)
What’s going on at AMS?
At AMS Fulfillment we’re having some fun. If you wear green on the 16th (AMS West) and the 17th (AMS East) you’ll get a raffle ticket and maybe win a trip to the prize room! In honor of the leprechaun and the pot of gold, there will be a Gold Coin Challenge. Chocolate gold coins will be placed around the facilities and if you find the lucky number on a coin you’ll get a trip to the prize room! A third trip to the prize room can be won by guessing how many marshmallows are in the Lucky Charms Counting Jar. The closest guess gets the trip to the prize room!
There must be some nice stuff in the prize room!
AND, on that day, 16th or 17th, there will be an Irish Themed Potluck special treat sponsored by the AMS volunteer committee. All staff are encouraged to bring an Irish themed dish.
What does St. Patrick’s Day commemorate?
We found some very interesting historical information! Despite being the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick was actually born in Britain. His parents were both Roman citizens and his mother gave birth to him in 385AD.
Slavery was what brought St. Patrick to Ireland. According to this historical account, when he was a teenager St. Patrick was kidnapped by a pirate raiding party and sold into slavery in Ireland. For many years he was enslaved, looking after sheep, until he was able to escape to a monastery in England. While at the monastery he became a Christian and a Bishop. He then returned to Ireland as a missionary. The story tells that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. The point being that there are three leaves making up the same whole.
You can enjoy the full story HERE, and we’ll quote one more paragraph: The tradition of drinking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is said to have started with the saint himself, who announced that everybody should have ‘a drop of the hard stuff’ after an innkeeper was less than forthcoming with a bottle of whiskey. While there was a brief period where drinking on St. Patrick’s Day was banned, the tradition has since returned in full force.
Here are some more enjoyable facts!
* Irish Americans wore green as a reminder that they were nationalists first and foremost.
* The mythical belief that wearing green would make you invisible to leprechauns originated in America.
* People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.
* The Irish eat bacon and cabbage, not corned beef and cabbage.
* St. Patrick probably didn’t drive all the snakes out of Ireland.
* Scientists have said that it’s highly unlikely that there were any snakes to begin with and there are no fossils to disprove the theory.
* St. Patrick’s given name was Maewyn Succat. When he became a priest he adopted the name – Patrick.
* The day a saint passes away is considered a holy day to celebrate their ascension into heaven. St. Patrick passed away on March 17.
* ‘Drowning the shamrock’ (drinking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day) is said to have started with St. Patrick!
* It is offensive to wear orange on St. Patrick Day. Orange has been identified with unionists or loyalists, people who are loyal to the British crown.
* There is a story that St. Patrick left his ashwood walking stick in the ground while he went off to try and convert the villagers of a small town to Christianity. The effort took so long that the walking stick became an ash tree.
For how long has this holiday been a holiday?
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years.
So there we have it! A 1,000 year old celebration! Thumb’s up to the Irish! Let’s enjoy this historical legacy and give some due respect to the wearing of the GREEN!