Celebrating St Patricks Day Belfast,or anywhere in the world? Find out a little bit more behind the man who gave rise to the most international of national parties!
Well first up his real name was Maewyn Succat and he wasn’t Irish but Welsh. He was born in Roman occupied Britain around 386AD.
His first arrival on Irish ground was due to his kidnapping at the age of 16 by slave traders,and subsequent sale to an owner who lived in Ireland.He spent six years as a farming hand,under the foot of Slemish Mountain in County Antrim.
Photo of Slemish Mountain:
After those six years,he escaped and somehow made his way to a french monastery where he spent the next 12 years of his life studying.He returned to Ireland as a bishop under the name Patrick Daorbae, whereupon he engaged in an enthusiastic campaign to convert the ‘pagan’ island to christianity.(by results he was pretty successful)
He is credited with the use of a three leave shamrock in his teachings to the local Irish population ,as a symbol of the Holy Trinity. A ensignia which hundreds of years later is now recognized as sign of Irish identity,from bar signs to car stickers.
Legend has it that he banished snakes from Ireland,but the real truth is maybe something to do with the separation of Ireland from the rest of europe after the Ice Age.(the ‘snakes’ he banished were apparently devils,demons and paganism)
He died on March 17th 461AD, and is believed to be buried in a grave at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick.
Across Belfast and throughout the world cities and people are enswathed in green to celebrate his memory (or maybe just to celebrate!)
Interestingly the colour associated with St Patrick is not green but dark blue,as seen on the Irish Presidential flag, pictured below ‘the St Patrick’s Blue’ (gold irish harp on a blue background).
Wherever you are in the world, Belfast, Mexico, New York ,Paris etc enjoy your St Patrick’s Day. Slainte, Salut, Cheers!