St. Patrick's Day: not just for the Irish!
St. Patrick's Day (also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick's Day) is both a cultural and religious celebration annually held on the 17th of March. This particular date, the 17th of March, is the date of the death of St. Patrick in (c. AD 385–461). It is also the national holiday of Ireland and patron saint of Ireland, famously known as St. Patrick.
Legend has it that St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, and as a way to demonstrate the teachings of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by showing people (who were Pagans) the shamrock, which is a three-leafed plant.
Another famous legend is that the reason Ireland has no snakes in the land is because after a forty-day fast, St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of the sea in Ireland. However, as we now know, snakes are now seen in many cultures as a universal symbol of medicine and of healing. So, God does have a unique purpose for all things great, small and even cold-blood animals!
Whether you believe these legends are true or not, is up to you. It is your choice. However, the reason why I have written this article is because as someone of Irish ancestry, I'm proud of my heritage. These events - whether you are born Irish, have Irish-heritage, or not - bring people together. The colour green can be interpreted in many ways: it's symbol of healing, of peace, of hope. It also symbolises Earth, togetherness, Ireland... and the list can go on.
All people of all faiths, and all walks of life need to find an appreciation of togetherness. Yet, we still seem to stereotype particular groups of people. Yes, the Irish (and even people of Irish heritage) may like to drink, but I can assure you that there are some of us that don't (I'm one of them!) We can still have a fantastic night out if we want to!
We all feel the need for sense of belonging. It is just human nature - we all deserve to feel wanted and needed. And, I'm sure if you want to participate in a cultural or religious celebration that is different than your own, you can always ask! Be open-minded and respectful towards new cultures, new ideas, and new perspectives on life.
Have a wonderful and blessed St Patrick's Day!