St. Patrick’s Day commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland. It also celebrates Irish culture in general, and as it typically falls during Lent, restrictions on food and drinking were lifted for the day. We can only assume that this may have something to do with the tradition of alcohol consumption!
Celebrations usually involve parades and festivals, but interestingly enough, they were more common outside of Ireland than within. Only during the latter half of the 20th century has Ireland begun to celebrate the day in earnest. You’ll usually see more use of the Irish language around St. Patrick’s Day, and in fact, Ireland uses the weeks leading up to the holiday as ‘Irish Language Week.
Since the 1600’s, it’s been traditional to wear green and/or shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s been said that he used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the holy trinity to the pagans of Ireland. Three was a significant number to the pagans, so he may have used that as a way to assist in his evangelizing efforts.
Funny enough, it wasn’t until 1903 that the Irish officially recognized March 17 as a holiday. While it’s not an official holiday here in the U.S., in some places it might as well be. Here in Chicago, we celebrate with no fewer than three parades, and by dyeing the Chicago river green.
At E. Burnham Cosmetics, we’re celebrating by offering a special Retinol Day Crème/Night Crème .5 Oz. Travel Kit. Retail value is $32 when purchased separately; we’re offering it for just $17 this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
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