History of St. Patrick’s Day for Kids


Like all things good and Irish, let’s start with an Irish blessing. This particular blessing would be said at the start of anything related to St. Patrick’s Day: May the Irish hills caress you. / May her lakes and rivers bless you / May the luck of the Irish enfold you. / May the blessings of St. Patrick behold you.

When Is St. Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on March 17th.

A little about Ireland

Located in Western Europe, in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of England, Ireland is actually two countries in one. The Republic of Ireland, with the capital of Dublin, has a population of one million people, and Northern Ireland, with the capital of Belfast (also part of the United Kingdom), has a population of half a million people. The primary languages that are spoken in Ireland are Irish Gaelic, Shelta (a traveler’s language), and most of all English.

Who was St. Patrick?

Saint Patrick was born in Britain at the end of the fourth century. He worked as a shepherd, and one day he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. For six long years he worked as a slave. Bearing heartache, beatings, and struggle, religion soon became his only comfort. One day, he managed to escape, and was able to answer his lifelong call. St. Patrick studied Christianity, and came to believe that it was he who would sail to Ireland and convert all of the pagan peoples to Christians.
St. Patrick’s winning personality made him a hit with the Irish. He used many familiar symbols to the Irish to help convince them that converting to Christianity was a good choice. One of the symbols he used was the very familiar, and very sacred Shamrock. St. Patrick used this symbol to represent the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). St. Patrick’s mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years, and after he drove all of the snakes from Ireland (he converted the pagan peoples), he peacefully passed away in his sleep on March 17th in the year 461 A.D.

Symbols of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day.

  • The Blarney Stone: The Blarney Stone is located at Blarney Castle in County Cork, Ireland. As legend has it, an old woman cast a magical spell upon the stone to reward the King of Ireland for saving her from drowning in the river. The spell stated, if one kisses the Blarney Stone, then that person will receive the gift of gab (the ability to talk sweetly and convincingly). In order to kiss the Blarney Stone, you have to first get to County Cork, Ireland, but after that you have to lie down on your back, bend backward and downward, all the while holding onto to two metal bars so you don’t fall down to the bottom of the wall.
  • The Shamrock: The shamrock is a national symbol of Ireland. It is not to be confused with the four-leaf clover. The shamrock is mainly used as a religious symbol to represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today, many people will wear a shamrock in remembrance of St. Patrick. The Irish believe that wearing a shamrock will bring one good luck.
  • Wearing Green: So why do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? For one thing, green is the beautiful color of Springtime and is very much so connected with thoughts of hope and good things to come, but you also wear green because you don’t want to get pinched. School children started this pinching tradition many years ago. So if you don’t want to get pinched on St. Patrick’s Day, make sure you wear some green on March 17th!
  • Leprechauns: What does a leprechaun look like and why are they so special? A leprechaun is an Irish fairy that looks like a little old man. He is about two feet tall and dresses like a shoemaker. A leprechaun’s personality is described as distant and unfriendly. They live alone and pass the time by making shoes. Leprechauns are so special because they also possess a hidden pot of gold. If you listen closely for the sound of their hammer, you just might be able to catch a leprechaun. If you do catch one, you can then try and force him to tell you where he has hidden his pot of gold, but be careful, he will surely try and trick you. If you take your eyes off of him for even less than a second he will go POOF! and vanish, and your hopes of finding his hidden pot of gold will vanish with him.

Read more at Suite101: History of St. Patrick’s Day for Kids | Suite101.com http://michael-quadro.suite101.com/a-happy-st-patricks-day-for-kids-a355642#ixzz1pMoW4ITZ


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