St. Patrick’s Day

August 3, 2009


(This was originally posted in March during St. Patrick’s Day.)

St. Patrick’s Day (also known as St. Paddy’s Day) falls each year on March 17.  It originated from the country or Ireland, with parts of Ireland observing it as a public holiday.  In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated but not officially observed as a holiday.  Although originally tied in with the Roman Catholic faith, today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by non-believers also.  Generally, Americans, of Irish descent or not, would wear green (not entire costume, just one article of clothing) as the color green in the Irish culture is seen as a color of luck.  In parades around the nation, one may see men wearing green hats!  (A man wearing a green hat is not a taboo in the Irish culture, but so in the Chinese culture.)  Likewise, a shamrock may be given to one another for good luck.  In fact, Americans have been very conscious to wear green on this day to avoid getting pinched!  As an excuse to drink alcohol, especially Irish alcoholic beverages, people may also declare themselves “Irish for a day”. 

            Legend has it that St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be the luckiest day to spot a leprechaun.  The belief is that if you see one, keep staring at it as it will have lead you to his pot of gold which he keeps at the end of a rainbow or grant you three wishes.  Remember to keep your stare because once you blink or divert your gaze, it will disappear forever.  Try your luck on this day!  Maybe you’ll spot a leprechaun and his pot of gold and have luck for the rest of the year!  Good luck!  (Source: Kolnkgin)


To read more about St. Patrick’s Day and its associated history and stories, here are two sites of interest-


Listen to this episode to hear the pronunciation of each of the following words.  

alcoholic beverage (n)- a drink with alcohol which can make one drunk

article of clothing (n)- one part of an outfit

blink (v)- to naturally close and open the eyes

gaze (n)- a stare

Ireland (n)- a country to the northwest of the continent of Europe which exists as an island

Irish (n)- language, people or culture of Ireland

legend (n)- a story that may not be true which tells about or explains an event, person, or phenomenon

leprechaun (n)- a dwarf-like man of Irish folklore associated with St. Patrick’s Day

observe (v)- to follow, as in a law or custom

pinch (v)- to squeeze made by the thumb and the forefinger

Roman Catholic (n)- a Christian religion with the Pope in Rome as its leader  

shamrock (n)- three-leafed clover

St. Patrick’s Day (n)- holiday of Irish origin celebrated on March 17th each year

taboo (n)- something avoided due to religious or social belief