Today I was explaining to my 7 year old about St.Patricks Day. I then realized how little I really know about the holiday or should I say the history of it and why it is celebrated. Of course there is the green, shamrocks and the silly leprechaun which I assumed were just what has been added to the holiday as a way of commercializing it. My main reason for talking about it though, was to clear up any misconceptions or ideas that there are leprechauns roaming about, which had scared her in the past. Her comment at the end of our little talk was: Oh, I know like in Kindergarten when my teacher messed up the classroom, but she just wanted us to have a little adventure!
Adventure, of course that is what kids love at this age. I have always wanted to make holidays memorable and special times for my kids. As they are growing older and understanding more I have struggled with celebrating certain holidays, not that I am opposed to the fun they bring, but that they should have some meaning behind why we would celebrate them.
With a little studying I found a few interesting things about St. Patrick's Day:
1.The shamrock is associated with St. Patrick, as he reportedly used the three-leafed plant as a way of
explaining the Trinity- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2.St. Patrick was born around 387 C.E. in Scotland, and turned to God once he was kidnapped by slave traders and brought to Ireland to be a shepherd. He joined the priesthood after his escape at the age of twenty, and eventually became a bishop. Patrick was tasked with the mission of
bringing Christianity to Ireland, where he was enormously successful in converting much of the mainly Druid and pagan population.
3.Wearing the color green is a St. Patrick's Day tradition. Although Saint
Patrick wore blue, the color green is recognized as a significant color for
celebrations. Green is symbolic of the Shamrock and the green color of the
landscape of Ireland. Wearing the color green is a St. Patrick's Day tradition. Although Saint Patrick wore blue, the color green is recognized as a significant color for celebrations. Green is symbolic of the Shamrock and the green color of the landscape of Ireland.
Whether we celebrate it or not,wear green etc. is not the important thing. I want to use these moments to talk about what is true and that when my children see green,shamrocks and rainbows on St. Patrick's day, it will remind them of something that does have meaning. As my daughter said, "Mom, we should call them heart-rocks...get it?"