Did St. Patrick really banish snakes from Ireland?
The short answer is, well, no. There weren’t any snakes in Ireland to begin with. The legendary tale of St. Patrick banishing snakes was likely a metaphor for banishing evil from Ireland.
But who is St. Patrick, anyway? What is St. Patrick’s Day all about? And why is he believed to have been metaphorically banishing snakes from Ireland?
St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday started as a cultural and religious celebration. It was held to commemorate the death of St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, on March 17, 461 AD. In modern days, it is more of a cultural celebration with lots of parades, parties, and merriment!
Did you know? St. Patrick wasn’t Irish! And his original name wasn’t Patrick! That’s right, he was actually from Britain (back when it was still a part of Rome) and the original name he was born with is believed to have been Maewyn Succat.
At 16, he was kidnaped from his family estate and enslaved as a shepherd in Ireland. He would later escape back to Britain, but during his time held captive he turned to his religion for comfort and became a devout Christian. He would later return to Ireland as a Christian priest. Due to his achievements, and the length of time between his life and the present, legends of many kinds have developed over the centuries. Hence the popularity of the banishing snakes from Ireland legend.
But where do Leprechauns come in? We associate them heavily with celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day. In our Youtube video on St. Patrick’s Day, we do a quick drawing of a Leprechaun jumping out of a pot of gold! I go into a little more detail about St. Patrick’s life, how he incorporated Irish rituals and culture into his teachings, and give you the need-to-know information on Leprechauns!
I’ll leave you with a Leprechaun fact, then go check out the video for more!
Leprechaun fact: it is believed that the reason you wear green is to become invisible to Leprechauns, so they don’t pinch you!