Happy St Patrick’s Day! You can’t go far in New York on this yearly calendar event without seeing swarms of green, over sized leprechaun hats, shamrocks and pints of Guinness. In homage to this annual celebration, we find out how St Patrick’s Day came to be celebrated, why St Patrick’s Day is still such a pivotal date in our calendar and the significance of that ubiquitous color green that will be decorating the city over the weekend of Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of March.
What is St Patrick’s Day?
St Patrick’s Day 2019 falls on Sunday the 17th of March this year, with the grand St Patrick’s Day parade in New York held on the afternoon of Saturday the 16th of March (moved back from the Sunday, bringing it earlier by one day to avoid conflicting with other religious ceremonies). You can expect the St. Patrick’s Day party to carry on throughout the whole weekend, with just about every bar in New York celebrating St. Paddy’s.
You might be familiar with the drinking and partying that is associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but do you know why?
St Patrick’s Day is the cultural and religious festival in celebration of the life and death of the patron saint of Ireland – Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461). Kidnapped by Irish raiders, he was taken as a slave, then escaped some years later during which time he “found God”. He then returned to Ireland and converted Irish people to Christianity, establishing many religious monasteries, churches, and schools.
St Patrick is the first saint of Ireland, and as so is the most famous for all Irish people. Many legends and myths have been created about the saint throughout history, however, it’s unsure as to how many of them are true – one story claims that he once drove snakes out of Ireland, although there is no historical evidence to prove that any snakes have inhabited the countryside of Ireland.
Why is it celebrated?
St Patrick's Day remains an important calendar date for many Irish people. These days, the time is more about a celebration of all things encompassed by Irish culture, including Irish dancing, drinks and food, the color green, music and lucky shamrocks (clover leaves). The festival has been transformed into the celebration that we now recognize by emigrants to the states who settled in the city and held extravagant and elaborate ceremonies, including the annual New York parade. Taking part in the festivities is now not only by the Irish and includes all cultures in New York and across the globe, with this huge celebration now celebrated in more countries than any other around the world.
Traditional Irish pastimes will involve attending church and celebrating the day with drinks and food. Historically, St Patrick's Day was the single day when Lenten restrictions around eating and drinking were lifted, and so hence the practice of drinking alcohol including whiskey, beer or cider became a recognized part of celebrating the day. The ritual of drinking on St Patrick's Day also coined the term “wetting the shamrock” or “drowning the shamrock,” which involved placing a lucky shamrock (clover) in the bottom of a cup, which was then filled with whiskey and drank as a toast to the saint.
Why the color green?
The lucky shamrock has long played a part in the colorful St Patrick's Day celebrations and profoundly influenced the color green that you will spot everywhere on St Patrick's Day. Now recognized as the national plant of Ireland, it was brought into the history books by St Patrick when he used the small leaves to demonstrate the mystery of the Trinity and god. According to legend, he would describe God’s three characters, and then pick a three-leaved clover to illustrate how one entity could have three separate parts: the father, the son, and the spirit, were all part of one supreme being. This story lead to the clover or shamrock becoming a lucky symbol throughout Irish culture, and to the color green from the plant leaves being adopted as Irish’s national color.
Decorate to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day
Bring some lucky green color into your home with our vibrant green lamp bases and lamp shades: explore our collection of Jade Lamps including our Solid Green Jade Table Lamp, or browse our selection of Porcelain Table Lamps, such as our colorful Green Apple Table Lamp, Mini Green Porcelain Table Lamp or our collection of green table lamps
Take advantage of our promotion of St. Paddy's: Green Table Lamps at 17% Off only this weekend. (March 16-18) using the code LUCKYLAMPS
We wish you the happiest of St Patrick’s Day. Cheers!