girl with shamrock illustration
How familiar are you with the origins of St. Patrick’s Day? St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, is not only the impetus behind the Christian movement in Ireland, but is also known for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Well, figuratively anyway. There are actually no snakes in Ireland, and it is believed there probably never were. However, St. Patrick led the movement to convert the pagans (who often used snakes in their symbols) to Christianity, thereby driving the “snakes” out.
Did you know it’s actually a three leaf clover that brings the luck? St. Patrick used the three leaf clover to explain the holy trinity to the pagans, which is how the clover became the flower of Ireland. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday, a day for praying for missionaries around the world and for spiritual renewal. Since the United States has a large Irish population, it is widely celebrated here, with shamrocks, pots of gold, leprechauns, and all things green.
Why the leprechaun? There is no reason that leprechauns are associated with St. Patrick’s Day, beyond the fact that St. Patrick’s Day is associated with all things Irish. Leprechauns are male fairies in Irish folklore - often an older, tiny man who is particularly mischievous. According to the tales, the leprechauns are very rich and have many treasures, including gold that they hide in secret places. If you catch a leprechaun, they have to take you to their treasure. But, if you take your eyes off of them, they can vanish instantly.
Fun activities include hunts for clovers, scavenger hunts, coloring activities and other printable activities, or attending the Naples St. Patrick’s Day parade.