Luck of the Irish

It’s right around the corner. That time of year when we all go green! From wearing something green to avoid being pinched, to drinking green beer, and even eating food that’s been dyed green, there’s nothing quite like this Irish holiday. But, did you know that St. Patrick wasn’t actually Irish?

Born in Britain, Patrick was captured by Irish pagans when he was a teenager and taken to Ireland where he became a slave. While there, however, he grew to love the region and customs so much, he vowed to one day return. He did so after having become a missionary and tried to convert the Irish to Christianity.

While this holiday was initially only celebrated in Ireland, an influx of Irish immigrants to the US in the 1700s brought this favorite holiday tradition with it. Today, this is one of the rowdiest holiday celebrations we have. Brush up on your St. Patty’s Day knowledge before the big day on March 17th.

Four-Leaf Clovers

C’mon and admit it, you spent hours of your childhood looking for one of these. While St. Patrick used three-leaf clovers to explain Christianity to non-believers, the four-leaf clover has a different meaning entirely. Each leaf symbolizes something: hope, faith, love, and happiness. Since they are only found about once in every 10,000 clovers, you are very lucky indeed if you’ve found one!

What’s the Deal with Green?

Blue was initially the color assigned to this holiday because green was considered unlucky. However, over time, people began to associate the color green with Ireland as it is called the “Emerald Isle” and known for its lush green landscapes. Legend has it that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns, ensuring they don’t pinch you!

Leprechauns and Pots of Gold

Irish folklore loves to tell of leprechauns who dressed like little old men and lived to create mischief. It is said that they spent all their time making shoes, and depositing the gold they made as profit into pots at the end of rainbows. If caught, leprechauns are forced to grant three wishes to their captor in order to be released. While everything from the color of their jacket (red or green?) to their size (normal or small?) is up for debate, one thing is true: the leprechaun has become a celebrated figure in Irish tradition. While some doubt their existence, there are many who believe wholeheartedly. How about you?

Blarney Stone

Blarney is the gift of eloquent persuasion. Located in the wall of Blarney Castle in the village of Blarney, kissing the Blarney stone is supposed to bestow the kisser with this helpful gift. For more than 200 years people of all types, from statesmen to Hollywood elite, have travelled the distance to kiss the stone. For many years, people had to be held upside down by their ankles in order to reach the stone. Today, rails have been installed so that when lying on your back, you can reach it by holding onto the rails.

Whatever your background, we all turn a little green on St. Patty’s Day! Get ready for the big day with all the best party supplies and decorations from the merchants at PointShop Mall.

Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2014