Why Do We Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day? (As If We Need A Reason.)

Top O’ The Marnin’ To Ya!

St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching.  Time to drag the  box of shamrocks and leprechaun ornaments up from the basement, and relocate the green sweaters to the front of the closet to provide them with their annual 15 minutes of mossy fame.   It’s the time of year that preoccupies our minds with visions of rainbows, pots o’gold, clovers, and lucky horseshoes, (and now also Lucky Charms cereal).

But why, though?  What are we celebrating?  What made St. Patrick so great that he warranted a yearly feast of soda bread and green beer?  Who even was Saint Patrick, and why do the Irish get so bent out of shape if he is called, (GASP!), St. Patty?  And what do clovers have to do with anything?

Pretty sure pretzels were originally a jewish treat. I’m leaving it, since not making sense is sort of a thing on St. Patrick’s Day.

Turns out, St. Patrick’s Day as we know it originated in the 18th century when Irish immigrants settled in Boston and chose to celebrate on March 17th, (the date of death for Ireland’s patron saint), in order to keep their heritage alive.  Local bars and pubs saw this as a readily convenient marketing opportunity, and thusly was born the “Irish” tradition of drinking copious amounts of green beer.  Because, beer.   An ironic turn of events considering that in the old country, The Feast Of Saint Patrick is observed as a religious holiday, and to honor it businesses and pubs were closed on that day until the 1970’s.   For all intents and purposes, St. Paddy’s Day is a national celebration of immigration in America.

Saint Patrick has been a household name for centuries, so it goes without saying the guy was kind of a big deal.  Shakespeare said  “…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet..”, but the Irish disagree.  I’ve gone ahead an done us all a favor and found us a handy-dandy reference chart, so we don’t call him the wrong name and get shanked by a disgruntled leprechaun.  You’re welcome.

Handy chart provided by paddynotpatty.com

Fun fact:  St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish.  He was born into an aristocratic family in Roman Britain, and lived there until he was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish pirates when he was 16.  True Story.  Eventually, for reasons I did not google, he returned to Ireland to convert the Celtic Druids to Christianity.  He did so by using the customary Catholic Jedi mind tricks of taking pagan symbolism and traditions and rebranding them to make the conversion to Christianity an easier pill to swallow.  Clovers were a simple choice, because they grow abundantly in Ireland and the native Druids already celebrated them for their three leaves, three being considered the sacred number representing the earth, the sea, and the sky.  Also, as St. Patrick pointed out, the number three symbolized the holy trinity of the father, the son, and the holy ghost.  Turned out to be an easy sell.

He went on to convert most of the country, and then became famously regarded for getting hangry after fasting  40 days on a mountaintop, and driving all the snakes out of Ireland because he didn’t like the looks on their faces.  Seems legit.  Except, science.  In all likelihood snakes never existed in post-glacial Ireland to begin with, and it’s more probable that by “snakes” they just meant the pagans who took their many gods and fled.

Even so, Saint Patrick became the Patron Saint Of Ireland, and is traditionally depicted wearing blue and holding a clover.  Green eventually became the new blue when an Irish militia chose to brandish clovers in order to rebel against Queen Victoria, or maybe it’s because Ireland is known as The Emerald Isle, or as some say, wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns.  At any rate, it’s now common knowledge that if you don’t wear green on St. Paddy’s day, you become openly vulnerable to an onslaught of pinches by folks with the forethought to don green, and attacks by mischievous leprechauns.

  Alas, We Don’t Need Logic To Party

This is good news for those of us who don’t need a valid reason to drink chartreuse beer, or spend an entire day drunkenly butchering a proper Irish accent.  If you are reading this,  you probably intend to partake in some variation of St. Paddy’s shenanigans, and I’m here to help you party like it’s my job.  Because it is.  But even if it weren’t I’d still share these ideas with you.   That’s just how I roll.

 

Rainbows in a Jar make an easy and colorful party favor!

If you want to throw a St. Paddy’s Day party but don’t know where to start, this article on gigsalad.com has you covered.  They have tips for everything from entertainment to cocktails with links to local businesses for hire.

I found this game at Divinedinnerparty.com and I knew I had to share it.  There are so many ways to personalize this hide-and-seek game the possibilities are endless.

Leprechaun Coin Treasure Hunt Game

I love the idea for this St Patrick’s Day game for a party, because it can be played by anybody. Set it up for kids to give them something fun to do. Or set up an adult version for a grown-ups’ party. Or have the kids do one outside, and the adults inside… have fun with it!

Set-Up and Supplies:

To play this easy St Patrick’s Day game, all you need is a bunch of plastic gold coins (or gold-foil-wrapped chocolate coins), a little gift bag or other container for you guests, and a bit of genius for hiding things.

How to Play:

This St Patrick’s Day game works just like an Easter egg hunt! Hide coins all over the inside and outside of your house (or just the outside if you don’t relish the idea of your guests sifting through your possessions). Then set your guests free to find them. The three people who collect the most coins win a prize.

Alternate (More Fun!) Rule:

This can be a simple St Patrick’s Day party game, sure, but you can make it more complex if you want. Some fun ideas are:

St Patricks ShamrockCoin Hunt Drinking Game: Make this into a St Patrick’s drinking game by adding instructions to each coin (make up little white stickers ahead of time– it’ll be much easier). Write things like: “take 1 shot,” “assign one shot,” “down your drink,” etc., on each coin.

St Patricks ShamrockRestrictive Rules Version: Make collecting coins harder by adding restrictive rules to each one (like the variation above, but minus the drinking). Examples: “If found, you must give three coins to nearest person” or “To keep this coin, sing at the top of your voice for 30 seconds.” As you can see, you can play around with this a LOT. It’s a ton of fun.

St Patricks ShamrockBlindfolded Coin Search: Make people work in teams, one blindfolded, the other seeing. The seeing team member –who has their hands tied behind their back– has to direct the blindfolded one.

Or if you don’t want to party it up, (I’ve heard that’s a real thing for some people), and you’d rather stay home in your green pajamas, you can entertain yourself and your cats by playing these free St. Patrick’s Day games online.   And say hi to your cats for me.  They seem nice.

 

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3 thoughts on “Why Do We Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day? (As If We Need A Reason.)

  1. Thanks fOr The iNfo and the entertainment. Who knew??? I love the the rainbow jar! Might just be the perfect gift for the grandkids!!
    I look forward to you keeping us informed🌈

    1. Hi, Dawn! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you come again soon!

  2. GreaT tips and info britt!! Your talent is neverending!
    I love your web name…i’m very interested in bridal shower games?
    Thank you,
    Cathy

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