St. Patrick and the Leprechauns Start an Upheaval of Legendary Stories

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March 17 is one day of the year that most have come to know as St. Patrick’s Day. Students may celebrate the day with finding three leaf clovers or may either be relaxing or doing homework, but one may enjoy hearing about the legends that started the holiday which has come to be known as St. Patrick’s Day.

Born in Roman Britain in the 4 century, patron saint, St. Patrick was kidnapped when he was 16. St. Patrick was taken to Ireland as slave where he later escaped. However, in 432 he went back to Ireland on hopes of trying to convert the Irish folk to Christianity. On March 17, 461 in Saul, County Down, St. Patrick died where he established his first church in a small barn. Throughout his life, St. Patrick became known for establishing many churches, monasteries, and schools. Out of respect for the patron saint, St. Patrick’s Day has been known to be a day of spiritual renewal and over time it has become a celebration over things in correlation to Ireland and the Irish. 

Legends over the years have been told as St. Patrick driving snakes out of Ireland or that he used the shamrock, which is leaves divided into three leaflets, that was said to be used for the explanation of the Trinity. 

Other legends tell of Saint Patrick’s Breastplate that was used to transform himself and his companions into wild deer so they could escape an ambush while on their way to preach at the Hill of Tara. The story of the magic fire is said to begin as a Celtic Feast of Beltaine or in other words the Feast of the Fires. The festival was to celebrate the beginning of summer and to triumph over the dark powers in which a traditionally lit fire would be on top of the Hill of Tara. There are many other legends surround the mythical saint patron, St. Patrick that can be found on the internet. 

As the celebrations of Saint Patrick’s Day goes, the most common legends are tiny creatures called Leprechauns. Leprechauns are the real reason to wear green on this secular holiday. The original Irish fables surrounding the tiny creatures actually portrays them as ugly and mean. They were shoemakers who hid money they made from their crafts in the famous pots found at the end of the rainbows. Instead of depicted as wearing green, they wore red that was richly laced with gold. 

The idea behind the rosy, smiling Leprechauns originated from the 20th century that everything Irish was green. However the real catch with Leprechauns is the reward if one captures the creatures. In accordance with freedom, the Leprechauns will grant three wishes to their captor. Some could even say that the Leprechauns freedom could even be tied to St. Patrick’s own kidnapping when he was younger.

Whether St. Patrick’s day is spent trying to find three leaf clovers, wearing green or pinching those who aren’t, any student can participate in family traditions or start some of their own. Others can even participate by looking up and telling cool legends about the St. Patrick’s holiday.

Sara Schoenfeld is attending Snow College for the first time as a Communications major. She grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and found herself in Centerville, Utah her sophomore year in high school. At age 12, a fictional book touched her heart, causing a wishful spark to stir which led her to start writing her own inspirational stories. She continues to aspire towards achieving her goals by inspiring others through her writing.

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