Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Thanks to Wikipedia, here’s the deal: The man who became St. Patrick (AD 340-440) was captured as a young boy by an Irish Celtic tribe and lived with them for six years. After he escaped he eventually joined the priesthood and, with his knowledge of the Celtic language and Druid religion, returned to the Irish tribes to preach the Gospel.
Pious legend credits St. Patrick with banishing snakes from Ireland. However, all evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes. One suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids during that time and place, as exampled on coins minted in Gaul.
Legend also credits St. Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a three-leaved clover, using it to highlight the Christian belief of 'three divine persons in the one God.' For this reason, shamrocks have definitely become a central symbol for St Patrick’s Day.
Nevertheless, the shamrock was also seen as sacred in the olden days in Ireland. Due to its green color and overall shape, many believed it to represent rebirth and life. The three leaves of the clover represent faith, love, hope and, of course, luck. Because of this other reason, the shamrock has continued to be very popular in the Irish culture, representing Ireland and the Irish people.
Enjoy a green beer today and pinch someone who isn’t wearing green.