A St. Patrick’s Day snowman is most fitting this year as a snowstorm left us with over 40 cm of snow. My city is still digging itself out!
Weather notwithstanding, isn’t St. Patrick’s Day great? Green clothing can be seen far and wide, and people celebrate whether it is sunny and mild or snowing and -20°C. To me, St. Patrick’s Day represents laughter and celebration and most importantly: inclusion. Everyone and anyone can be Irish for the day!
Who was St. Patrick?
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland but he was not born in Ireland. He wasn’t Irish! He was actually born in Britain but was kidnapped and enslaved by pagans in Ireland for six years as a teen. During those years, he learned to speak the language. He managed to escape his captors and fled by ship to Britain where he became a priest. After he was ordained as a bishop, he returned to Ireland, and is credited with converting the population to Christianity in the 5th century. St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD.
According to legend, he drove the snakes of Ireland into the sea after being attacked, but scientists claim that this is unlikely as Ireland is one of only a handful of countries where snakes have never been found. No fossils of snakes have ever been discovered in Ireland either.
St. Patrick’s Day Chez Nous
I am of Irish descent, so I like to celebrate by preparing something traditional or, of course, by baking:
My Irish Roots
My mother’s family dates back to 1132 in County Wexford in Ireland. A few years ago she showed me a very interesting document that was given to her by her father regarding the family’s history. I found this section particularly interesting:
So it turns out that I am here today in part due to a rebel Irish priest and a fugitive French officer. How cool is that?! I’m thinking this would make a great action movie…