Having grown up in Ireland, St Patrick’s Day is still a day that fills me with great excitement! St. Patrick’s Day was always a holiday and a guaranteed day off school or work, a trip to see the parade and wearing green was always a must! Even now the anticipation of the arrival of Paddy’s Day, fills me with that giddy excitement of that younger excited schoolgirl.
St Patrick wasn’t born in Ireland. That’s right! Ireland’s most famous and celebrated saint, St Patrick, wasn’t actually born in Ireland, in fact he was kidnapped by pirates and brought to Ireland where he was sold as a slave! Historians aren’t exactly sure where he came from, but they believe it is either Wales or England.
When Saint Patrick was brought to Ireland, he was sold to a farmer who put him to work minding his animals. Saint Patrick lived and worked with the animals. After several years he managed to escape by stowing away on a boat which set sail to France. While he was in France, he trained to become a priest. After many years he began having dreams about the people of Ireland calling to him to come back to them. He returned to Ireland as a missionary and is now Ireland’s patron saint.
Ireland has a female Patron Saint too. In fact Ireland has three patron saints – Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and Saint Columba. Saint Patrick is by far the most famous. The female patron saint of Ireland is Saint Brigid. She has her own feast day on February 1st and she even has her own cross. Saint Brigid was a nun and there is a story that tells how she went to visit the King of Leinster (one of the 4 provinces of Ireland) for some land to build a convent. When the king refused, she asked would he let her have however much land her cloak she was wearing would cover. Then king wanted to get rid of Brigid, and so he agreed. When Saint Brigid began to lay her cloak out, the corners of the cloak continued to stretch until it covered huge parts of the land. The king began to panic when he saw this and promised Saint Brigid a nice plot of land for her convent.
It’s true! There really are no snakes in Ireland! The legend says that St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland by driving them off a cliff and into the sea. There is a story about the last snake in Ireland. There was a snake who did not want to be banished. St Patrick tricked the snake into climbing into a box, and then threw the box into the sea. This, the legend goes, is why there are no snakes in Ireland. It is because of this legend that St Patrick is often pictured with snakes by his feet.
A shamrock has 3 heart shaped leaves. It really is very simple to draw a shamrock once you know this. It might seem simple, but if you ever find yourself needing to draw a quick shamrock for an activity, this little observation can be a lifesaver. Trust me!
One thing I really enjoying for St Patrick’s Day is making Potato Print pictures. It’s simple and is lots of hands on fun!
All you need is:
- A potato, A knife (to cut the potato), Paper, Green Paint & a container for the paint
2. Using the heart shaped potato print, create shamrocks by placing 3 heart shaped prints beside each other. I love little finger prints, I just think they look so cute and encourage hands on play with the paint. So, using finger tips you could add a stem to the shamrock.
If you are looking for more st Patrick’s Day ideas check out:
Graphics © Krista Wallden (Creative Clips)