During yoga today, our substitute yoga teacher named June was wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day. As she looked around the yoga studio she said, “I am going to have to pinch you for not wearing green.”
But, St. Patrick and his followers, would have had to deal with being pinched since back in the day they wore "St. Patrick’s Blue.” In fact, so did the Irish military. The color green became popular after it was linked to the Irish Independence Movement in the late 18th century. It made me think of other myths associated with this popular holiday.
Though St. Patrick is considered the patron saint of Ireland for making his mark by introducing Christianity to Ireland in 432 AD, he wasn’t even born in Ireland. Historians believe that he was born in Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton in Scotland which was technically part of Britain at the time. His parent’s Calpurnius and Conchessa were Italian and lived on a British estate. So, as my late father Frank—who
loved to read religious history and was a Catholic seminarian for a year would say, "technically St. Patrick was Italian.” Yes, we all laughed and thought he was off his rocker. But, do yourself a favor folks, do a Google search! It is not uncommon for common day myths to collide
with history. It happens all the time. This saintly guy is my “paisano,” the equivalent of “homie” to Italians and Italian Americans. It appears that the common saying: “everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day” requires a bit of revision.
Another example is that Irish folklore states that St. Patrick gets the credit for driving all the snakes our of Ireland. But, scientists point out that according to the fossil record, Ireland was going through an Ice Age and was too cold to host any reptiles. Mythologists believe it as a metaphor for getting rid of the pagans who were referred to as "snakes."
Drinking was prohibited on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day for most of the 20th century because it was deemed mostly a religious holiday in Ireland. This changed when it was converted to a national holiday. Since 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through the streets of NYC proclaiming their connection with their Irish roots, over a quarter of a million people have marched on Fifth Avenue on St Patrick’s Day.
Photos: The delicious chocolate and banana cupcakes with the 3 leaf clovers and that say kiss me were bought at the iconic “Icing On the Cake” after my dental hygiene appointment. A cute young Asian vendor at the Farmers Market with the green antenna hair clip. Eating Irish green sprinkled cookies and drinking a non-alcoholic lemonade and fresh ginger (I know boring but good:-)