Born sometime around 386 AD in Roman Britain, Saint Patrick was around 16 when he was captured and sold into slavery with “many thousands of people” by a group of Irish marauders that raided his family’s lands.
He later escaped Ireland and traveled to Gaul where he earned his PHD in Catholic Marketing, eventually returning to Ireland where he is generally credited for successfully marketing Christianity (specifically the Catholicism Brand) to the Island.
Due to his years as a slave, he learned Irish Celtic traditions and celebrations and co-opted many of their existing Druidic rituals into his unique Irish-Catholic Brand.
He built bonfires to celebrate Easter (the Irish Druids were used to honoring their gods with fire). He also superimposed the Sun, a powerful native Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic Cross®. He is also credited for using the 3-leaf Shamrock ☘️ (a native plant to Ireland) as a symbol of the Catholic Holy Trinity. Pretty clever marketing, huh?
He also gets credited for banishing snakes that never existed on Ireland…yet another great feat, one which helped propel him straight into the Catholic Hall of Fame, becoming a Saint after his death on March 17th, 461 AD.
Saint Patrick’s Day is a “feast day” in the middle of the Catholic ritual of Lent, which begins with Fat Tuesday and ends on Easter Sunday. The 40 days of Lent is a period when devout Catholics practice fasting: limiting their consumption of food and drink, and generally abstaining from vices from alcohol to sugar to certain types of meat. The tradition varies.
In the middle of this fasting period, however, they snuck in a CHEAT DAY! (Gotta love those Catholics)….St. Patrick’s Day!!!
Held annually on the anniversary of his death, St. Patrick’s Day is when Catholics are allowed to drink. And eat meat! And party! Whoohoooo!!! Parades! Bagpipes! Guinness! Michael Flatley! Pinches! Kisses! Beads! Leprechauns! Irish Car Bombs… (not the IRA kind).
It’s pretty much another Mardi Gras, but with Irish-Catholics instead of Haitian-Catholics.
Green beer was once a term used for undrinkable beer. You’d literally get sick from drinking green beer in the 1920’s because there were green things actually living in it.
The popularity of combining blue food coloring to yellow (American) beer to create a simple “Green-colored Beer” increased by the mid-1950’s in the United States and green beer was rebranded as New Green Beer® by American bartenders and Anheuser-Busch. If you get sick from Green Beer these days, it’s probably not the food coloring’s fault 🤮
The tradition serving of Green Beer on March 17th is just something that sort of happened. But sales of Irish beers and liquor brands like Guinness and Jameson and Bailey’s all go through the roof on March 17th… all thanks to the to the King of Kings of Branding…
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