Whatever signifies St. Patrick’s Day is usually defined as little green leprechauns, four leaf clovers, shamrock shakes and pots of gold; but where did this fun, flavorful and festive holiday come from?
Whether you are Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated notable holidays where Americans everywhere hit the bars to knock back a few perfunctory ales and signal a cab for a safe trip home. But, of course, this green holiday has its roots in one of the world’s oldest religions and St. Patrick himself may have been just the man to be sure it stayed that way—at least in Ireland.
Back in the late fourth century, St. Patrick was credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Furthermore, he was intrinsic in abolishing the rights of true pagans. Many of us have heard the tale of St. Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland, but this was just a symbolic memorandum for his diligence in putting an end to ongoing pagan practices. The reason theorists came to this conclusion is that Ireland reportedly had not even seen a snake since the Ice Age—well before good old Patrick was sainted in Éire. Since being sainted, Patrick is even said to have encountered the Druids at Tara to abolish their pagan rites.
St. Patrick was known for two bodies of work—The Confessio, an autobiography; and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment towards Christians. Through both pieces, St. Patrick became widely known for his devotion to the Holy Spirit. Inspired by Patrick, there “Holy Wells” all throughout Ireland that still bear his name where citizens still get baptized.
What's all this business about the shamrock, then? St. Patrick used the shamrock to represent the Trinity. He wanted to show his people how the was connected—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all part of the same entity, seen here in the clover.
So, why March 17? Well, rumor has it that St. Patrick died that day and the town folk dedicated this very special day to honor his strong spirit and comfort he brought to Ireland. Some say that St. Patrick died in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland during the year 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved and was sometimes requested in times of childbirth and to guard against the "evil eye."
Other reports insist that St. Patrick spent his final days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. Many religious monuments all around the globe are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in England, New York and Dublin.
Here in , plenty of Irish enthusiasts are looking forward to the festivities of this green holiday; among them was Louis Haiek, 42, owner of the popular SideBar in Glendale.
“It’s one of the more fun holidays! At SideBar, we will be having a great time. We have a lot of specialty drafts for the occasion. I would say my favorite part of St. Patty’s Day is that everyone gets along and it’s a time to really just celebrate life and each other,” said Haiek. “And did I mention the beer?”
Another Montrose local, Steve Martinez, 41, saves up all year long for the big day. “It’s the only day out of the year that my wife will come and pick me up at a bar if I get too hammered! And I love McDonalds’ shamrock shakes. I just can’t help myself,” Martinez admitted.
This St. Patty’s Day, celebrate in La Crescenta at for that real Irish experience or for 50-cent hot wings. Locals will be celebrating the life of St. Patrick with beer, food and festivities!
Check out Patch Picks this week, letting you know where you can celebrate all across town!