(Warning: don’t wear too much!)
In the US, it’s become customary to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.
But in Ireland the color has long been considered unlucky, according to Bridget Haggerty, author of The Traditional Irish Wedding and Irish Culture and Customs web site
(the best source for all things Irish, IMO-PB)
Brigid explains: Irish folklore holds that green is the favorite color of the Good People (the proper name for faeries). They are likely to steal people, especially children, who wear too much green.
It appears that MOST of the symbols associated with St. Pat’s Day have more to do with Ireland, than himself. For instance:
Beyond the Blarney St. Patrick’s Day fast facts from National Geographic
And why is Patrick connected with Blarney? I’ve never been able to find out, but here’s a good general site about the Blarney Stone…and apparently there IS a connection to St. Columba.
The Saint Patrick Centre offers extensive information about St. Patrick’s World
Myths about St. Patrick from the History News Network
Celtic Christian cross
It is popularly believed that Saint Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the Celtic sun cross
Patrick was declared Patron of Nigeria in 1961 by the Sacred Congregation of Rites.
Leprechauns? Who knows? But here’s a link to leprechaun song lyrics and free streaming from Brobdignagian Bards.
And if you’re at the pub, raise one to St. Gertrude this March 17th! Irish Drinking Songs: The Cat Lover’s Companion and Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for Cat Lovers plus free MP3s from Marc Gunn, Celtic American Musician and podcaster.
In my Anachron, I depict St. Patrick as a young slave who owed a lot to wolfhounds…
Irishwolfhounds.org is a great resource with beautiful pictures, including postcards.
These are only a few of the sources I have come across over nearly a decade of researching St. Patrick.
I have tried to be inclusive… If you know of any sites that you think would be appropriate here, please let me know (and my apologies for any out-of-date or broken links). -pb