www.whyville.net Mar 13, 2004 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Kiss Me, I'm Irish

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Hey! This is crazzieme, with a little bit of blarney for y'all! I haven't been on Whyville much lately, but I just couldn't miss my favorite day of the year -- March 17, St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy!

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner, and Irishmen and non-Irishmen alike are pullin' out their shamrocks and green drinks for another celebration in honor of good 'ol saint Paddy.

But just who was St. Patrick, and why do we have a day in remembrance of him?

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn. At 16, he was sold into slavery. His imprisonment helped him to come closer to God and realize that his calling was in converting the pagans to Christianity.

After he escaped six years later, he adopted the Christian name Patrick. He began his mission of converting pagans to Christians. He traveled through Ireland, setting up schools and churches. Today, one of the most famous churches dedicated to St. Patrick is the St. Patrick Cathedral in Dublin.

A lot of traditions go hand-in-hand with St. Patrick's Day. Shamrocks, for example. They say St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the Trinity: the three leaves represented God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, respectively, while the whole shamrock represented their entirety.

Leprechauns are also associated with the Irish. If you catch one, you'll get their pot of gold. True? Well, it's nice to think so. Potatoes are also an Irish tradition. I'll be pulling them out of the ground this year, along with my good old green bowler hat and my lucky clover.

The Irish also have many sayings and toasts, as they call them. An especially famous one, which also happens to be hanging in my house, is this blessing:

"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you
In the palm of his hand."

And, as the Irish say, Éirinn go Brách, or "Ireland Forever!"

Sláinte (cheers!),

Editor's Note: Thanks for your report, crazzieme! If you let us know what websites or books you got your information, that would make this article all the better! Till then, I'll be reading the BBS and dancing Irish jigs till I fall down... :-)


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