Most of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations are fairly new to modern history. Blue used to be the traditional color of Ireland since it was under English rule. During the Irish Rebellion that began in 1798, the color of green was used to symbolize rebellion and shamrocks became a symbol of nationalism. It was not until the 1970s that Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated the way it is today, with much partying and often green beer. Prior to 1970, St. Patrick’s Day was a national holiday in Ireland and was celebrated with the local pubs closing in observance of the day. To better market the country for tourism in the 1970s, the country decided to open the pubs for St. Patrick’s Day and to market Irish culture as a part of celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. This is when the Leprechaun was added and the tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, the color most associated wit the modern country of Ireland. Corned beef and hash is not even really Irish but evolved from the Irish immigrants to the US who were trying to serve pork and potatoes. The poor immigrants substituted corned beef and cabbage, which were less expensive, as immigrants choice of food. The shamrock is a myth that St Patrick used to explain the concept of the trinity to the Irish citizen - this is not founded in truth. At best, it is a weak analogy. Leprechauns are just fairy type mythical creatures from Ireland but have no basis in fact or anything to do with Saint Patrick.
Here are some books I recommend you read with or aloud to your children:
Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola
The Story of St. Patrick: More than Shamrocks and Leprechauns by Voice of the Marytrs
Saint Patrick: Pioneer Missionary to Ireland by Michael McHugh (this is my favorite)
St. Patrick: The First Missionary by Thomas Cahill
The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day by Patricia Pingry
The True Story of St. Patrick (by CBN) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTYQyv8e-x4
Wooton’s Whirled History: A Blend of Bravery (Adventures in Odyssey) https://www.amazon.com/Wootons-Whirled-History-Bravery-Adventures/dp/1589977785
Patrick: He Ignited a Flame of Faith in Ireland by Gary Wilkinson (available on Amazon Prime): https://www.amazon.com/Patrick-David-Kidd/dp/B00IZ7EY7U/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Patrick%3A&qid=1581390117&sr=8-3
A Short History of Saint Patrick - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOqWT2tk9Js
Veggie Tale’s The Story of Saint Patrick - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwpFpxr6SHc
Movie - that was going to be showing March 17 and 18 in Theaters Only: I AM PATRICK: The Patron Saint of Ireland - A Fathom Events Production. Due to the Coronavirus, all theaters are closed here in Colorado, so they might be in your town too. Maybe search for it online to see if it will be available in some other format soon. As of the evening of March 16 that information was not available.
II suggest making these yummy cookies with your kids and talk about the true story of Saint Patrick and what his life can teach your kids while enjoying some freshly baked cookies.
Green Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
2.5 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups white sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp peppermint extract
15-20 drops green food coloring
1 cup andes mints, chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat over to 300 degrees. In a medium size bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Using a mix, cream together sugar and butter. When creamy, add the eggs, peppermint extract and food coloring. Mix until just combined - do not overmix. Add in flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Fold in chopped mints and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes. Yield: 3 dozen cookies.
I know so many of my friends that NEVER would have homeschooled are finding themselves forced into it with the Coronavirus threat. I will be posting some ideas for homeschooling and keeping young ones busy while trying to do homeschooling with older kids. Be looking for that this coming week.