Sunday, March 17, 2013

"I can't believe I'm in love with a leprechaun."

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In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, did you eat a bowl of magically delicious Lucky Charms for dinner?

Are you wearing your GREEN today? We have Irish in our family, so I showed off my Shamrock earrings... at Krogers.

Yeah, that's the only place I went. Kroger, and then the drive thru at McDonald's to try a Shamrock Shake for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I l-o-v-e-d it! The only thing missing were shavings of Ande's chocolate on top of the whipped cream.

When we got home I helped Mom make Shrimp Gumbo, took Abby outside to pull up more weeds again (the lass is obsessed), played rescuer to a lizard that almost got eaten by my cat, and now I'm watching my Hubba-Hubba-Wham-Bam-Yowza Scottish Hunk Gerry Butler on tv.

P.S. I Love You is on.

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Such a sad, yet really funny movie. (The landscape in Ireland is gorgeous, too).

This movie was so interesting to see at the movie theater. People were crying and laughing non stop. The lady sitting in front of me cried over one scene for the longest time after it was over, and the men in the theater provided a lot of entertainment. I can't tell you how many coughs I heard, all from men, trying to mask their unmanly tears.

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Symbols and Folklore

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It is said the St. Patrick Died on March 17th, hence we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on this date.

St. Patrick’s real name was Maewyn Succat and he was born in Scotland (not Ireland!) around 385 A.D.

Leprechauns are the official shoe makers of the fairy kingdom.

Shamrock is the national flower of Ireland.

The Christian Church of Ireland was founded by St. Patrick.

It is said that St. Patrick died at the age of 79 in 464 A.D.

St Patty’s Traditions

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The St. Patrick’s Day custom came to America in 1737. It was first celebrated publicly in the U.S. in Boston.

On St. Patrick’s Day, in Chicago the rivers are dyed green.

Green is affiliated with St. Patrick’s Day because it is the color of Spring.

On St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland people traditionally wear small bunch of shamrocks on their jackets or caps.

If you are caught without wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be pinched!

Traditional St Patrick’s Day food includes, Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, and of course, Guinness.

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Legends about Patrick

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Many of the stories about Patrick are based only on legends.

One of the best known tales tells how he charmed the snakes of Ireland into the sea so that they drowned. Different tales tell of his standing upon a hill, and using a wooden staff, drove the serpents into the sea, banishing them forever from the shores of Ireland. One legend says that one old snake resisted, but the saint overcame it by cunning. He is said to have made a box and invited the reptile to enter. The snake insisted the box was too small and the discussion became very heated. Finally the snake entered the box to prove he was right, whereupon St Patrick slammed the lid and cast the box into the sea. While it is true there are no snakes in Ireland, chances are that there never have been snakes since the time the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the ice age. As in many old pagan religions serpent symbols were common, and possibly even worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was most likely symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice.

According to another tale, Patrick used a three-leaf shamrock to illustrate the idea of the Trinity. Many people believe the shamrock came to be the traditional symbol of Ireland as a result of this legend. Today, his feast day, March 17th is celebrated as a national holiday in Ireland.

St. Patrick also introduced the Roman alphabet and Latin literature into Ireland. After his death, about 461AD, Irish monasteries flourished as centers of learning.

Compton's Encyclopedia adds that despite a constant threat to his life, Patrick traveled widely, baptizing, confirming, preaching and building churches and monasteries. Patrick succeeded in converting almost the entire population of the island. His "Epistola" pleads the case of the Christian Irish at the hands of their British conquerors. Patrick's writings have come to be appreciated for their simplicity and humility.

The Shamrock

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The shamrock (at one called the "Searoy" is a type of small herb with leaves made up of three leaflets, and is the common name for any of several three-leafed clovers native to Ireland. The Irish have considered shamrocks as good luck symbols since earliest times, and today many people of other nationalities have adopted that belief. It has become the national symbol of Ireland, because of the legend that St. Patrick used it to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity.

Preaching in the open air on the doctrine of the trinity, he is said to have illustrated the existence of the Three in One by plucking a shamrock from the grass growing at his feet and showing it to his congregation. It symbolizes the cross and blessed trinity.

The legend of the shamrock is also connected with that of the banishment of the serpent tribe from Ireland by a tradition that snakes are never seen on trefoil and that it is a remedy against the stings of snakes and scorpions. The trefoil in Arabia is called shamrakh and was sacred in Iran as an emblem of the Persian triads. The trefoil, as noted above, being a sacred plant among the Druids, and three being a mystical number in the Celtic religion as well as all others, it is probable that St. Patrick must have been aware of the significance of his illustration.

The Leprechaun

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The Leprechaun is an Irish fairy. He looks like a small, old man (about 2 feet tall), often dressed like a shoemaker,with a cocked hat and a leather apron. According to legend, leprechauns are aloof, unfriendly, live alone, and pass their time making shoes. They also possess a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal the location of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor's eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost. Legend has it that you can find the leprechaun and his pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

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1 comment:

  1. This was my favorite of all the St. Patrick's Day posts I read. I hope you had a good St. Patrick's Day!!

    ReplyDelete

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