“When the Irish say that St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland, what they don’t tell you is that he was the only one who saw any snakes!”
Today, I am planning to join the Paddy´s Day celebrations in London. There are going to be parades with people wearing green and carrying a shamrock, mass and Irish stew served everywhere. Oh, yes. Guinness too.
What I find really interesting is how a religious celebration got both so popular and secular. St Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. He used the shamrock, the Irish national flower, to explain the Holy Trinity. So, one would expect today being quite religious, right?
Indeed, today is a day for spiritual renewal. St Patrick is believed to have died in 17 March 460 AD, so today´s celebration is supposed to be a commemoration of Paddy´s death. What I am expecting to see instead in London today is more drunken people than usual from very early in the day. This is just another reason to party.
Surely the Irish took their traditions and charm everywhere when they emigrated. Their good humour shows in jokes such as the one on top of this post. By the way, there probably never have been any snakes at all! Snakes and similar symbols were often worshipped in many pagan religions.
The day has become associated with everything Irish and with good luck. Such a lovely tradition! I will be posting some pictures in another entry tomorrow. So, watch this space!