So what is Saint Patrick’s Day, anyway? Do you know what it’s really all about?
Answer: It’s the anniversary of the death date of Saint Patrick, a Catholic missionary of Ireland (clearly nobody’s crying about it lol). Ireland still has many devout Catholics, to the point, I’ve heard, that many still practice chastity until they’re married. There are still some governmental holdovers from these traditions as well—abortion, for example, is illegal here. The basic plan for Christians is to get married, get pregnant, have kids, and create a big family. Unlike the Japanese, who plan their families based on economic and other factors, I get the sense that Christians simply let nature take its course and accept pregnancies as a gift of life. That’s why most of the Irish people I know seem to have lots of brothers and sisters.
So when it comes to abortion, the simple question that comes up for them is “how did you get yourself into a situation where it’s necessary?” Add to that the fact that even contraceptives weren’t sold in the old days (they weren’t legal)—so it’s pretty amazing on a lot of levels. Now they’re pretty much available anywhere, just like in Japan, and I think their ideas about family planning are gradually coming closer to what we’re used to, but women who experience unplanned pregnancies apparently have to go to neighboring countries to have abortions. Pretty tough.
Anyway, let’s talk about celebrations. Saint Patrick’s Day is the biggest event in Ireland all year (a WAY bigger deal than Halloween, which I posted about earlier), and lots of tourists come into Dublin. It’s probably the number-one day in terms of population density here… lol
Ireland is so green that its nickname is the Emerald Isle. The national color is green. Its official symbol is the harp, but another classic symbol of Ireland is the shamrock (a three-leaf clover). You’re all probably going, “wait—not a four-leaf clover?” Gotcha. Apparently it comes from the fact that Saint Patrick would use three-leaf clovers in his missionary work to teach people about the Holy Trinity of Christianity. Incidentally, the most well-known college in Dublin is called Trinity College, named after the same concept. So that’s why everyone—EVERYONE—goes nuts with the green and the shamrocks on Saint Patrick’s Day. And goes to see parades and drinks a ton in the pubs, and so on (it is a holiday, after all! ♡)
Unfortunately, it was cold enough to snow this year on Saint Patrick’s Day, but—maybe that just added to the fun?—people carried on with the partying as always!
Those things between their legs are leprechauns, the little men from traditional Irish fairytales. They’re not dressed up in green for Saint Patrick’s Day though—they’re always depicted as wearing green in the old stories.
Well, that’s it for this post. I’ll leave you with a picture of an adorable little girl dressed up in shamrocks and an Irish flag.