Monday, February 5, 2007

When it comes to St. Patrick's Day, you'll find awesome tales to tell. Most are indeed tall tales, but so endearing to the Irish, that they form a truly adorable and entertaining part of St. Patrick's Day Celebrations. Irish culture is centered on a rich tradition of myths and legends. Tales were passed down from one generation to the next, usually orally, and naturally, colorful trimmings were added and we have today magical, amazing stories ! Some of this color seems to have splashed on to stories surrounding St. Patrick, and it's really difficult to draw the line between fact and legend !

The Shamrocks: Irelands national emblem and the symbol of St. Patrick's Day, this humble three-leaf clover is what St. Patrick is said to have used to explain how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit could exist as three separate elements in one entity. Some say that St. Patrick stood in a field of shamrocks (Gaelic = 'seamrog') when he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. The Snakes: Ireland has no snakes. That St. Patrick has anything to do with could very easily be a legend, but it is said that St. Patrick once stood on a hill (now called Croagh Patrick) with only a wooden staff in his hand and "banished" all the snakes from Ireland during his sermon. Raising people from the Dead: You'll hear a lot of stories where St. Patrick is said to have raised people from the dead.

The Color Green: Ireland is known for its beautiful green landscape, and so it has been named the "Emerald Isle". Not surprisingly, green is Ireland's national color, and everyone wears green on St. Patrick's Day. History says that it was the Scandinavians and the Celts, enchanted by the lush 'green' island, who gave Ireland its original name "Irlanda". Some Irish say that 'green' honors the farmers who burnt green leaves and spread the ash over their fields. Others will say that green signifies the coming of spring after the harsh Irish winters and St. Patrick's fans (all the Irish are !) will all wear green on St. Patrick's Day, although St. Patrick's color was blue! Whatever the reason, St. Patrick's Day is the day to wear green, so do it, because if you don't, you'll get pinched !

Leprechauns and the Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow: The name leprechaun comes from the old Irish word "luchorpan" which means "little body."
A leprechaun is an Irish fairy who looks like a small, old man about 2 feet tall. He is often dressed like a shoemaker, with a crooked hat and a leather apron.
According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly. They live alone, and pass the time making shoes. They also have a hidden pot of gold! Among all the kinds of fairies and elves . The leprechauns were a group of fairies never over 2 feet tall. These little people were considered very unsociable. They lived alone and their aloofness was attributed to the belief that each Leprechaun obsessively guarded his pot of gold said to be hidden at the end of a rainbow

The Blarney Stone: If you can't visit the Irish village - Blarney, you can have your own made as part of your St. Patrick's Day celebrations and stand back and watch the fun ! Legend has it that a witch cast a spell on a stone in the Blarney Castle, and anyone who can kiss it catches the Blarney bug - yes call it what you wish - the gift of the gab, charming the socks off someone, smooth talk, clever persuasion or just plainly - the ability to convince someone by your sweet words -"the gift of Blarney

The Irish Harp: The Irish harp is one of Ireland's, and indeed the rest of the world's, most ancient musical instruments and a popular symbol on St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Although its popularity is not comparable to that of the shamrock, it occupies an important place in an ensemble, and Irish music played so widely on St. Patrick's Day would be incomplete without this classic instrument.

The Celtic Cross: When St. Patrick went about converting the native Irish, who followed a nature-based religion, to Christianity, he made use of their own symbols and rituals. A popular example is the Celtic Cross. St. Patrick superimposed the image of the sun, an Irish symbol on the Christian cross so that a new symbol was formed. Celtic crosses, along with the popular Shamrock, are sported by almost everyone on St. Patrick's Day.

May The Leprechaun Spread Luck !
A cute ecard to wish your friends/ family/ dear ones lots of luck on St. Patrick's Day.

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For Each Petal On The Shamrock...
Greet your near and dear ones on St. Patrick's Day with this beautiful thought.

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posted by Gerry at Monday, February 05, 2007 |