Raise Your Glass With Purpose This St. Patrick's Day

Raise Your Glass With Purpose This St. Patrick's Day

The truth behind the Irish holiday

It's become commonplace in America for people to celebrate holidays of other cultures without knowing the actual history behind it. Irish or not, St. Patrick's Day is no exception. No matter your religion or ethnicity, you can find most people adorned in green and drinking beer on March 17th each year.

Although it has become heavily Americanized, the legend of St. Patrick serves as more than just a fun day of leprechaun hats and "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" buttons. Here's some fun facts to better understand why you're wearing shamrocks and stuck in parade traffic:

St. Patrick was not Irish.

In the fourth century, national borders were different than they are today, but Patrick was not born in Ireland. Until he was 16, he was raised in what would be known today as either England, Scotland, or Wales. It is difficult to say for sure because of the lack of definition in geography at the time. Because historians have argued over the descent of his parents (thought to be of Roman aristocracy), his family could have been of Celtic or modern-day Italian descent. His true ethnicity remains a mystery.

His real name was not Patrick.

There are few artifacts directly linked to St. Patrick, and although he signed his name in Latin as Patricius, other documents indicate that his birth name was actually Maewyn Succat.

He was enslaved by the Irish.

At the age of 16, Patrick was enslaved by the Irish who raided his home in the Roman British Isles. He was held captive for six years before he escaped back to modern-day England. He eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary.

The shamrock was not a symbol of Irish culture.

While the name "shamrock" is an Irish term for "little clover," the purpose of the symbol was more religious than cultural. St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity in Christianity. He became a bishop and was named Ireland's patron saint after his death.

Green was not the traditional color.

Originally, knights in the Order of St. Patrick wore shades of blue, appropriately labeled, "St. Patrick's blue." It wasn't until the 18th century that green became the dominant color because it was used to represent the cause for Irish independence. Since then, most art depicts him in green because of his association of the shamrock with Irish Christianity.

Driving snakes out of the land was a metaphor.

When Patrick converted to Christianity, he devoted his life to converting other Pagans to Christianity as well. The legend of Patrick driving snakes out of Ireland was a reference to him driving "evil," non-Christians away (there were most likely no legitimate snakes involved).

Most of the "traditions" were founded in America.

After Irish immigrants came to America in the 18th century, they used the legend of St. Patrick to keep their culture alive. Following the Revolutionary War, Irish soldiers held the first parades. Corned beef and cabbage was an Irish American dish that became a holiday staple because it was all poor immigrants could afford. Additionally, the tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green in celebration began in 1962 (the original proposal wanted to dye part of Lake Michigan, but the Chicago River was chosen instead).

Ireland didn't drink to celebrate until the 1960s.

In 1903, Irish politician James O'Mara introduced a bill declaring St. Patrick's Day a national holiday. However, Ireland is heavily Catholic and March 17th falls during Lent, a season of spiritual discipline in Christianity. Although celebratory feasts and occasional drinks were still allowed, this resulted in a nation-wide law forcing pubs to close on St. Patrick's day in an effort to prevent excessive, "sinful" drinking. It wasn't until 1961 that the law was repealed, permitting the Irish to finally get as wasted as the Americans claiming to be Irish every year!

The point of sharing these facts wasn't to ruin your lucky day. There's no shame in celebrating, but now, you can drink with purpose! Enlighten your friends with the beauty that is Irish culture, and raise your glass to the old Irish blessing:

"Wherever you go, and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you."

Cover Image Credit: 101.9 KING FM

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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5 Reasons It's Always Worth It To Be A Summer Camp Counselor

Summer camps have a special place in my heart, and I'm here to share that with you.


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