On St. Patrick’s Day today, some revelers will raise a pint of stout and wish their companions “Slainté!”—the Irish word, pronounced SLAN-cha, for “health.” But where did this “holiday” really begin and why is it so popular now? St. Patrick’s Day marks the Roman Catholic feast day for Ireland’s patron saint, who died in the 5th century.
St. Patrick (Patricius in Latin) who was not born in Ireland, but in actually in Britain. Irish brigands kidnapped St. Patrick at 16 and brought him to Ireland. He was sold as a slave in the county of Antrim and served in bondage for six years until he escaped to Gaul, in present-day France. He later returned to his parents’ home in Britain, where he had a vision that he would preach to the Irish. After 14 years of study, Patrick returned to Ireland, where he built churches and spread the Christian faith for some 30 years.
In the United States, it’s customary to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. But in Ireland the color was long considered to be unlucky, says Bridget Haggerty, author of The Traditional Irish Wedding and the Irish Culture and Customs Web site. 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 of the color. Colonial New York City hosted the first official St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762, when Irish immigrants in the British colonial army marched down city streets. In subsequent years Irish fraternal organizations also held processions to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The various groups merged sometime around 1850 to form a single, grand parade.
Today New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the longest running civilian parade in the world. This year nearly three million spectators are expected to watch the spectacle and some 150,000 participants plan to march. Interestingly enough, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is little more than 75 years old. Chicago is famous for dyeing the Chicago River green on St. Patrick’s Day. The tradition began in 1962, when a pipe fitters union—with the permission of the mayor—poured a hundred pounds (45 kilograms) of green vegetable dye into the river. (On the job, the workers often use colored dyes to track illegal sewage dumping.) Today only 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of dye are used, enough to turn the river green for several hours.
Originally scheduled for this coming Saturday the Abbottsville UMC Pot Pie dinner has been postponed until a later date. Please note this if you had planned on attending that it will be rescheduled at another time.
Have you heard? The Old Arcana Eating House & Events is planning to open their doors in May in the old Smith Store, offering a truly unique blend of “rural roots” food and entertainment to the Miami Valley area. The Old Arcana is the first restaurant concept developed by JLS Hospitality Group, leveraging the combined expertise of Jeff Besecker leading the team’s menu development, Shannon Perry Clark handling Arcana’s musicians and entertainment and Leslie Handshoe-Suter leading brand development, marketing, and event planning. The Old Arcana was created around the restaurant’s rural location in our small village of Arcanum, Ohio. “The definition of Arcanum actually means a “secret” or “mystery,” says Leslie Handshoe-Suter. “It’s this charming little town just a step or two off the beaten path with brick streets, a beautiful history and a progressive spirit.” The Old Arcana will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., serving breakfast and lunch in the Arcana dining room with daily carry-out options from the bakery case. Saturdays and Sundays at The Old Arcana will feature a “Bluegrass Brunch from 8 a.m.to 3 p.m., offering a unique brunch menu and live bluegrass music from 11-2. The Ivy & Esther Room, located on the second floor of The Old Arcana, is a 125-seat venue for “Public Happening and Events” of all kinds. The Old Arcana will offer turnkey event planning and catering services for personal and corporate events. Learn more about The Old Arcana by visiting their web site at www.oldarcana.com, their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/oldarcana. For questions about scheduling an upcoming event at The Ivy & Esther Room, please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” ~Adrienne Cook
Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.