Celebrate St. Paddy's Day with shamrocks, leprechauns, and the color orangeFeb 22, 2022 08:45PM ● By Karmel Harper
By Karmel Harper | [email protected]
Local Danielle Millar Stoddard's Irish mother celebrated St. Patrick's Day by wearing orange.
"My great grandfather was Protestant Irish and raised his children to wear orange on St. Patrick's Day. My grandmother would let my mom and her siblings wear green so they wouldn't get pinched at school, but if Grandpa was coming over, they had to change quickly to something orange; otherwise, Grandpa would get so mad. He was very stubborn and set in his ways!"
The green color rules on March 17, but not all people wear green. Some wear orange.
First celebrated in 1631, St. Patrick's Day is a Roman Catholic holiday that honors the patron saint of Ireland. The color green is the Irish Catholic tradition, but not all Irish citizens are Catholic. Some are Protestant. Protestants wear orange to honor William of Orange, the Protestant king who overthrew Roman Catholic King James II in the Glorious Revolution in 1688.
The Irish flag, with its vertical blocks of green, white, and orange, is representative of the blending of the cultures. The green represents the majority of Roman Catholics; the orange represents the minority Protestants; and the white in the center symbolizes purity and peace between the two sides.
According to the website Patriot Wood, "When Ireland's flag was created, white was chosen as the central color to represent a lasting truce and hope for peace between the two sides. It represents the ideal that every person has a part in Ireland, regardless of political stance, religion, or ethnicity."
Other Irish traditions on St. Patrick's Day include a meal of corned beef and cabbage, which, according to Delish.com, isn't actually the national dish of Ireland. It's typically only eaten in the U.S. around the holiday.
"During the time of the Irish immigration to the U.S., the first generation of Irish-Americans were in search of the comforting tastes of their homeland. On St. Paddy's Day, that meant boiled bacon. But the immigrants were too poor to afford the high price of pork and bacon products. Instead, they turned to the cheapest cut of meat available: beef brisket. The corned beef was paired with cabbage, as it was one of the cheapest vegetables available to the Irish immigrants," said the website.
While St. Patrick's Day is just another day to some people, to others, the celebrations go beyond wearing green to avoid getting pinched. Herriman’s Denise Wooten Christiansen said, "As a granddaughter of Irish immigrants, St. Patrick's Day is special to me and it's become special to my children. I decorate our home, wear a special green chenille shamrock pin that my grandma made for every child and grandchild in our family every year, and eat corned beef and cabbage for dinner. It is a day to remember our Irish heritage and to carry on the multi-generational traditions of our family,"
Regardless of how you celebrate or not celebrate St. Paddy's Day, perhaps this famous Irish blessing that abounds this time of year resonates: "May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. The rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand."
Or perhaps this Irish blessing that local resident Megan Sticht shared may be more appropriate to your mood: "May those who love us, love us. And those that don't love us may God turn their hearts. And if He doesn't turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles, that we may know them by their limping."