Hello Rebels, and welcome back to my life.
Today is Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland, the United States, and in many other places in the world, and before I slip into an alcohol-induced coma from consuming too many green beers—seriously, don’t drink green beer, it’s the worst, they just take low quality beer and dye it green so they can sell it at a higher price—I wanted to explore this wonderful holiday that has become synonymous with wearing green, getting drunk, and…well, that’s about it, really.
WHAT…is Saint Patrick’s Day?
Well, the answer to that question would, of course, seem to begin with another question, which is, “Who is Saint Patrick?”
Saint Patrick was a pretty cool guy who lived in the fifth century. As you might expect from the title of Saint, he was a Christian, but not just any Christian.
Saint Patrick’s life actually started off in one of the most badass ways possible. When he was sixteen years old he was captured by Irish freaking pirates and enslaved in their homeland.
After six years he managed to escape their clutches. Historical sources are unclear as to whether or not he did it in an epic sword fight where in which he swung across a pit of snakes while kissing the baron’s wife—so we have to assume that he did.
After he got back home to Britain he became a cleric, but then he said, “Hey, you know that place I was captured and enslaved for six years? I want to go back there!”
He returned to Ireland and served as a religious leader there for most of the rest of his life, at least as far as we can tell. Obviously there’s as much legend surrounding the man as there is historical fact.
Less than two hundred years after his death, he was already revered as Ireland’s patron saint, which was like a super fast track to sainthood for that time period, and since then he’s come to be one of Ireland’s most important symbols, even among non-Christians.
Now you might know some of the legendary stories of Saint Patrick, like that the Druids had a prophecy of his coming or how he banished all snakes from Ireland—a legend that stems from the fact that there ARE no snakes in Ireland.
There’s other legends that are less “legendy,” but that we still can’t confirm the truth of. For example, it’s widely said that Saint Patrick used the shamrock, which usually has three leaves, to talk about the Christian Trinity.
I’m assuming that if they ever found a four-leafed clover, they burned it at the stake.
But some of his other achievements are historically verified fact, and even taking what we know for sure about the guy, he had a pretty impressive run.
He was apparently responsible for establishing more than 300 churches in Ireland and baptising more than 100,000 Irish people, which is like, six people every DAY for his whole life.
I don’t even TALK to that many people every day, and the ones I do talk to would be pretty freaked out if I flung water at their head and tried to give them a new name.
So why is drinking such a big part of Saint Patrick’s Day? Well, originally it wasn’t. The day was meant to be spent in solemn remembrance and prayer.
But as the world went on and we all got a little less “solemn-y” and “prayer-y,” pretty much any holiday became a cause for celebration and partying, whether it was religious or not.
Add to that the emergence of the stereotype that Irish are all heavy drinkers, along with a lot of romanticism of Irish culture, and you’ve got a perfect excuse to go out with some friends and get drunk on Jameson.
A side note on that—the Irish actually don’t drink more per capita than any other country in the world. They’re not even in the top ten.
According to the World Health Organization, Ireland is 21st in alcohol consumption in the world, falling below Russia, France, and even Australia.
But until those countries get their own internationally-renowned patron saints, I guess we’ll keep celebrating Saint Paddy’s day.
Enjoy yours, Rebels, and remember—stay safe, don’t drink underage and DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. I’ll see you tomorrow. Maybe. Byyye.