Margaret Ikladious: The green scarf (St. Patrick’s Day)

The green scarf (St. Patrick’s Day)

Written by: Margaret Ikladious, member of the American Press Agency

By March every year, nature begins to renew its cover, and trees, flowers, and plants turn into a green cover that disguises nature and begins to shed its color on the hills, meadows, and gardens. It even extends to houses and parks as well.

That month coincides with the preparations for the largest celebration at the level of the countries of the world, which witness its preparation and preparation, especially the United States of America, Ireland, and many foreign countries and capitals. The day dedicated to Saint Patrick is celebrated every year on the seventeenth of March.

It is believed that it is the day of the death of the great saint, Saint Patrick of Ireland, and on this day, nature embraces the religious character to produce a celebration of a double, distinctive, and special feeling that dyes all over the country.

 In addition to the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church venerates and honors Patrick, especially the English-speaking Orthodox, who is credited with spreading Christianity in pagan Ireland in the fifth century AD and the eighth century AD.

He was considered the patron saint and patron of Ireland, or as it is famous for the "Emerald Isle" for the beauty of its green countryside throughout the year, despite Ireland's reputation for fog and rain throughout the year, which made the Emerald Isle a source of inspiration for the national color of Ireland.

And about his upbringing, St. Patrico was born as a boy of British-Roman origin, not of Irish heritage, and belongs to a pious Christian family. His father was a deacon, and his grandfather a priest.

Saint Patrick was born Mayon Sokat and changed his name to Patricius Opatrick, which stems from the Latin term for "father figure" when he became a priest.

At about the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by some Irish pirates and brought to Ireland as an enslaved person grazing sheep near the coast, which made him in a more intimate environment and contemplation of God.

After six years of captivity, he managed to escape by sea and return to his homeland and joined there with a religious mission, and he was able to establish his position as a cleric, priest, and then bishop, which helped him to return to pagan Ireland to preach.

Patrick became a messenger of guidance and righteousness there, opening schools, building churches, establishing monasteries for men and women, and appointing priests and strong spiritual sponsors.

And he found an enlightened pagan king named (Leger) sitting on the throne. Patrick could not guide this king to the Christian faith, but he obtained a covenant from him that he would have absolute freedom in preaching this religion. 

Many of the country's pagan priests resisted him, and unfortunately, they exposed the country to their magic and vanished the minds of the Irish. Patrick matched their work by offering the people religious rites and prayers that expel evil spirits and black magic with the help of a group of young Christian priests. He brought them to Ireland to seek their help in removing evil spirits..!!

Despite this, St. Patrick did not guide all of Ireland to the Christian faith, but there remained isolated pockets of paganism, and there are still traces of the ancient pagan religion, and it has its rituals. 

And Patrick tells us in the "Confessions" that he wrote when he was told about the dangers he faced in his work, and he says:

His life was endangered twelve times until one day, he and his companions were arrested, kept in captivity for two weeks, and threatened with death, but some of their friends persuaded those they had stopped to release them.

The frequent narrations issued by some righteous, pious people from the book relate hundreds of amazing stories about the morals and miracles of Patrick, including what Nennius said (Nennius) that thanks to his prayers and great faith in God, he restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, purified the lepers, cast out demons, returned the captives, and revived nine of the dead. He wrote 365 books ".

 And one of the common legends about Saint Patrick is that during the period of great fasting, many snakes attacked him; even though there were no reptiles or snakes in Ireland, he expelled all the snakes from it, which was amazing !!

The story of this legend symbolizes his expulsion of paganism from Ireland and the beginning of the Christian religion in it, and the guidance to the existence of the One Creator, the One, the Triune Persons.

 This cross is very distinctive in shape, and Saint Patrick took it as a symbol of Christianity in Ireland, taking the shape of a circular sun disk with the cross inside it as a symbol and simulation of the radiance of Christianity over them and the nature of Ireland.

Unfortunately, many details of Saint Patrick's early life have been lost, making it even more mysterious.

St. Patrick's Day may be the most celebrated holiday in the world, as huge celebrations are held in many countries other than Ireland, especially in countries with a large Irish population.

This geographical diversity in the regions that celebrate this day embodies the spread of the Irish in different parts of the world, either voluntarily or out of necessity, during the waves of immigration that Ireland witnessed since 6000 BC due to the devastating wars, religious and political persecution there, or the economic crises it was exposed to.

One feels the Irish presence in the United States more than anywhere else.!!

As it turned into a holiday celebrated by all Americans and all religious denominations, it is not considered an official holiday in the United States, although it is an official holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

  As for the rituals practiced, they strengthen the belief that this feast is deeper than the mere death of a saint but is related to all the meanings in the movement of nature associated with this day. 

Many rituals and manifestations are evident in holding banquets and include traditional Irish foods that many Irish people enjoy at the level of the world's countries.

During this, the ban on eating meat was lifted during the Resurrection Fast; at that time, green cabbage was the traditional meal, as bacon, boiled, Irish brown bread, Irish stew, potato soup, sausage, mash, corned beef, soup, shepherd's pie, potato bread, black and white pudding, fried eggs, fried tomatoes, cake, gateaux, muffins, and biscuits. In the form of a shamrock leaf or a three-leaf clover, sprinkled with green sugar or cream.!!

While the bars serve great cider, wine, and Irish beer (sometimes dyed green).!!

And since St. Patrick's Day comes during the Great Fast, i.e., the Resurrection Fast, which means that it is not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages and that there is a law to do so.!!!

However, this night was excluded from celebrating the feast and allowing drinks in the seventies of the last century, which is why the excessive drinking of alcohol on this night. ..

The celebration is no longer confined to most countries, but we see that astronauts celebrated it aboard the International Space Station, and pictures of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield were published floating and singing with the station crew while they were only wearing green for St. Patrick's Day.

Although many believe that the color that symbolizes St. Patrick is green, historians say that the truth is that St. Patrick had a light, calm, bright blue color.

It is a color that is still seen in the old Irish flags and was used on badges and banners of the Irish army, which was sometimes marked with the marking of the harp, which is considered one of the oldest musical instruments and a symbol of the Irish, and it was found in the councils of poets and sages, not just musicians. The green color was adopted starting From the eighteenth century only!!

The celebrants wear green and orange hair wigs as the color of the famous Irish people's hair, as found in the color of the Irish flag, and green hats. They go to public parades, artistic reviews, festivals, and concerts. Enormous crowds crowned with beautiful green colors indicate the greenness of nature.

 It is said that the plant (shamrock) or shamrock with three leaves is a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolizes the new birth of spring, and St. Patrick used it to clarify the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which could have helped him in his preaching, which is still the national emblem of the Irish until now. .!!

 The stores sell greeting cards and smooth stones extracted from nature, symbolizing the stones of Blarney Castle in Ireland, a symbol of ancient Irish mythology.

Decorations, shiny coins, and masks represent the genie (lubricin), which was believed to be unrelated to the feast but is one of the Irish folkloric legends.!!

And these legends say that (lubricin) is an original Irish name for a small genie physically resembling an older man 2 feet tall, and it is a kind of male genie that inhabits the island of Ireland and wears leather aprons and a crooked hat on his head. This class of elves exists to protect the famous legendary treasure in Ireland, a pot-like pot filled with gold coins, and these elves can use their magical powers to serve good or bad.

In most of the novels and stories of the elves, they are described as eccentric, harmless, and very eloquent fairy-tale creatures that can make a good and enjoyable conversation among themselves. They also enjoy solitude and live in remote places, and to pass the time while guarding the treasure, they manufacture shoes.!!

It was also mentioned that she is a very wealthy elf who wants to hide gold in secret places that no one can see or discover. It exists by making sounds like the sound of a shoemaker's hammer.

 We go back to the celebrations in St. Patrick, where the roads of performances and squares are decorated and painted in green, and sometimes the rivers and fountains are dyed with temporary green dyes.

The failure of pupils, students, or people to wear green clothes and ornaments on the day of the feast may be punished by a pinch as a joke and foreplay so that he remembers that ridiculous joke, and that does not happen again in the next year.

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