Ireland, also known as the Emerald Isle for its lush greenery, celebrates March 17th as St. Patrick’s Day. What was initially observed as a purely religious festival in remembrance of the primary patron saint and the “Apostle” of Ireland, soon became a worldwide cultural celebration. This day is now also observed in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia, and is renowned for extravagant parades, music, dance, sumptuous food and of course, the color green.
About St. Patrick
It is widely believed that St. Patrick was born and raised in Roman Britain. At the age of sixteen, he was taken to Ireland as a slave by Irish pirates. After almost six years, he eventually managed to escape and return back to his family in Britain. However, after a brief period of time he came back to Ireland and was credited for bringing Christianity to its people.
By the time of St. Patrick’s death (on March 17th), almost the whole of Ireland was fascinated with the mystery that surrounded his life. The Irish culture has been ingrained with his teachings about Christianity, especially that of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). He explained this using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.
How It Is Celebrated
This annual event has been celebrated by the Irish for over 1,000 years on the day of the saint’s death anniversary that took place in the fifth century. The event falls in the Christian season of Lent which prohibits the consumption of meat; however, St. Patrick’s Day is an exception. Families and locals usually celebrate this fest by attending the church in the morning and spending the rest of the day indulging in dancing, drinking and relishing corned beef and cabbage – the traditional St. Patrick’s meal. Currently, numerous St. Patrick’s Day parades are held all across the world, with New York City and Boston being home to the largest celebrations.
Three Important Symbols of St. Patrick’s Day
A symbol of spring, the ancient Celt civilization highly revered the shamrock and it was significantly used by St. Patrick in his teachings as well. Irish nationals, since the 18th century (when Ireland was ruled by the English), have taken immense pride in the shamrock as an icon of their heritage.
The Green Color:
Originally, St. Patrick’s Day was represented by the color blue however the adoption of shamrock, post the 18th century, resulted in green becoming the official color. People soon began to wear green ribbons to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and the popularity of this festival resulted in many cities developing their own traditions. This includes dyeing the Chicago river green to commemorate St. Patrick.
The Celtic Cross:
St. Patrick had spent a considerable amount of time in Ireland, and was therefore aware of its culture. When he returned to spread Christianity, he merged Ireland’s traditional beliefs with new ones; the Celtic cross was one of them. According to legends, St. Patrick was the one who added the circular symbol (believed to represent the sun) onto the Christian cross, and thus the Celtic cross was born. It has since been considered an important symbol of Irish culture and faith, and has been used for adorning sculptures, jewelry and so on.
St. Patrick’s Day has now become synonymous with the color green and has resulted in immense popularity of jewelry of the same hue, with rich green emerald and olive green peridot being the most popular. Additionally, jewelry inspired by Celtic knots and the Celtic cross have also garnered immense admiration. At Angara, we’ve incorporated these symbols and colors in a variety of jewelry, such as pendants, rings and earrings. The use of lustrous gemstones has further elevated the allure of our breathtaking designs. So go ahead and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Angara’s beautiful jewelry collection.