As I was reading about the history of Saint Patrick, I became disappointed by how today’s celebration seems to have little of nothing to do with the actual person the holiday is named after. I shouldn’t be surprised; every holiday has been turned into a money-making machine for various companies. How can you celebrate a holiday with traditions that have nothing to do with its origin? I’m likely guilty of the same.
I guess what surprised me the most about these nuggets of history is if Saint Patrick wasn’t forced into slavery by Irish pirates, he never would have gone to Ireland. He was born in Britain, as the story goes, and didn’t follow Christianity until after his enslavement from the Irish pirates. Ultimately, he only went back to Ireland because it’s said he had a “vision” of some kind that gave him instructions to share Christianity with Irish people (who really weren’t interested in the message).
Eventually, he had to leave the mainland because the rejection was so strong. Gradually, the Irish people began to come on board and Saint Patrick (his real name isn’t even Patrick) used the three-leafed Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity of God.
What’s even more disappointing is binge drinking was never associated with the holiday until a beer company in America marketed it that way in the 80s and it’s been an Irish stereotype ever since. (Weird). Now, people color large bodies of water green, wear green, talk like a leprechaun (which doesn’t really exist), while consuming large quantities of alcohol. And…this is the holiday for a Saint?
Don’t get me started with Easter as stores begin to fill up with chocolate bunnies and painted hard-boiled eggs. Perhaps, I’m grouchy because I only like my eggs scrambled…
Anyhow, I have to calm down and not take these things so seriously. I simply want history to be remembered (celebrated) correctly instead of being used as another excuse to push sales. This is important. Sacred? What good is it to celebrate history if we don’t even care about what the history is of what we’re celebrating?
A person’s legacy should be celebrated with more dignity because we’re all trying to leave a legacy behind. Our name will live longer than we will. How do we want the generations ahead to remember our hard work and the sacrifices we make today? 😦
Eric Christopher Jackson