MARCH 12, 2018
St. Patrick’s Day Studies
The spring season is here, which means it’s time for spring holidays! While most people don’t forget about fluffy bunnies bringing baskets of candy, St. Patrick’s Day sometimes gets lost in the mix. Be sure to take a few minutes to teach your children about St. Patrick’s Day and discover some great activities to go along with what you learn!
Who Was St. Patrick, Anyway?
Although the holiday is largely considered an Irish one (e.g. “luck ‘o the Irish!”), Patrick himself wasn’t even Irish. Born in AD 387 in Britain, he was later captured by Irish pagans while in his teens and was enslaved for several years. While he was enslaved, he actually grew to like Irish cultures and traditions. Several years after he was released, he vowed to one day return to Ireland.
Patrick put in long studies at monasteries and was eventually ordained by Pope Celestine I as an apostle to the Irish peoples. Initially, his time was rough because the pagans didn’t recognize his authority and bucked against his commands of Christianity. Eventually, the “old religion” faded away and Patrick was able to establish the Catholic Church in his area. During his time as an apostle, he ordained and baptized many other priests. Over a 30-year timespan, he managed to convert all of Ireland to the Catholic Church. On March 17, 461, Patrick died of natural causes. To this day, however, he is considered the patron saint of Ireland.
Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
Not surprisingly, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the anniversary of Patrick’s death. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is considered a national holiday and is a time to convene with family and friends for worship and other meaningful activities. In the United States, however, it’s primarily a day to wear green to avoid being pinched and celebrate with all things green (e.g. green milk, green pancakes, green eggs…). The color green is said to symbolize spring and Irish culture.
Interestingly, while St. Patrick’s Day is a day of worship in Ireland and has become a secular holiday in the United States, there is no mention of St. Patrick in the Bible. Still, it has a strong familial meaning to the Irish. This is primarily because St. Patrick was said to have led hundreds of thousands of people to the Christian faith.
Homeschool Activities for St. Patrick’s Day
Now that you have a little background on who St. Patrick was and where the holiday stems from, why not intersperse some activities to go along with what you’ve learned?
St. Patrick’s Day Reading and Games
Gather your family together for some St. Patrick’s Day reading and entertainment!
“Who’s the Leprechaun,” “Gold Hunt,” and “Shamrock Scramble” are just a few of the 17 St. Patrick Game ideas at The Spruce!