|Lawdyhammercy, I do love the spring.|
St. Patrick's Day has always been one of my favorite minor holidays because it always carries flip flop weather with it. Can I get an amen? It's also a great time to get all craftastic with your kiddos. I'm doing some of these with mine.
For the first year, my girls are asking me what St. Patrick's Day is about. All I had to offer them was some vague something about a dude in Ireland and maybe something about some snakes and wear green or get pinched? Best I had. Shameful, I know.
So I've done a little digging. Hopefully now St. Patrick's Day will mean a little more than just signaling the arrival of spring and cute t-shirts at Old Navy.
http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day tells us that Saint Patrick's Day was initiated a millenium ago and permitted Irish Catholics to break the Lenten fast of meat and drink. And also that the snake thing is a hoax, but that Saint Patrick is recognized for introducing Christianity to Ireland.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/st-patricks-day_1_n_837037.html explains why the shamrock is a symbol of the holiday: Saint Patrick used the three-piece leaf to explain the Holy Trinity. And also that Saint Patrick's Day as a holiday, though it is about Ireland, is really an American invention. What can we say...we're party animals.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-kelly/six-surprising-facts-abou_b_836950.html tells that the ritual wearing of the green might be about the shamrock, it might be about the green landscape, and it might refer to the Irish Celtic tradition of wearing green during the spring equinox.
Gayle Gibbons book- Ancient copyright (mid 90s, I think) but comprehensive. Actually, I'd give pretty much any Gayle Gibbons books that same review. Nothing flashy, which makes them great for kids who would just like the facts, ma'am.
*Amazon affiliate link.
http://www.ehow.com/about_6640513_st_-day-_amp_-origin-pinching.html explains the whole pinching thing. Apparently the mischievous leprechauns pinch on St. Patrick's Day unless you wear green to ward them off. Naughty little leprechauns.
*ehow would not normally make my cut on a source list...as if you even care.
Do you do Saint Patrick's Day with your wee bairns?