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St Paddy's Day Questions - Answered!

We all know that somehow St Patrick's Day is tied to enjoying an alcoholic beverage - but why? Where did the green beer come from and how did we get here? We did a little research to get to the bottom of it all.

Who was St Patrick?

Well he wasn't Irish, and he first arrived in Ireland as a slave.

Eventually he was able to escape and he promptly returned to Great Britain where he became a cleric. A vision soon reached him and with that he returned to Ireland, saying that the people of Ireland called out to him, “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.” With his return he brought Christianity to the polytheistic Irish people. Incidentally he did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. There were never any snakes as the water surrounding Ireland is much too chilly for snakes to travel trough so they actually never made it to Ireland.

Why is Drinking Associated with St Patrick's Day?

It all began as a feast day held in honour of St. Patrick on the day he died. Christians are allowed to put aside their (Lent) restrictions on food and alcohol consumption on this day, so things got excessive and now drinking has become permanently linked to the celebration.

Eventually, the celebrations began to include not only St. Patrick, but also Irish culture, history, and traditions. The feast day began in Ireland but the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in America and then in the mid-1800s when hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants came to America to escape the potato famine it became extremely popular, and has since continued to grow and grow.

What's With the Shamrock?

The three leaves of the Shamrock signified the Holy Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. To share their Irish-Christian pride and to honour St. Patrick Irish people began to sport shamrocks on their clothing. This evolved into the association with green clothes and St Patrick's Day.

St Patty's or St Paddy's?

Those familiar with Irish traditions, or traditional Irish names, are puzzled as to why there is even a St. Paddy or St. Patty debate in the first place—to them, this isn’t even something that needs to be questioned. “Paddy” is the casual form of the traditional Irish-Gaelic name Padraic or Pádraig, and its later English variation, Patrick. “Patty,” on the other hand, is traditionally used as a nickname for the female name, Patricia. Soooo St Paddy it is!

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