Thu, Mar 15, 2012
School is closed for spring break and I feel like my kids are getting dumber by the second. My 4 year old was actually wedging a stick into the couch cushions and using it to catapult underwear across the living room. His creative juices are flowing, but the flinging of underwear stops now… well, after this article is finished.
Until 5 minutes ago, I was 99% sure that the St Patrick's day originally had nothing to do with pinching strangers or dying rivers green like they do in Chicago. After 4 minutes of thorough research, I discovered that it's a an Irish religious holiday to celebrate Saint Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. St Patrick was kidnapped at the age of sixteen and forced into slavery. He later escaped and studied to be a priest. Irish folklore says that he often used a shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Unfortunately, the famous story of him banishing snakes from Ireland is false. Patrick is regarded as the champion of Irish Christianity. Click here to read about Saint Patrick on History.com.
So why in the world do we associate leprechauns and pots of gold with St Patrick's Day? I can't seem to find a definitive answer. I suppose it's just folklore in the same way that people usually associate flying reindeer with Christmas. Leprechauns were originally depicted as little men, about 2 feet tall. They were grumpy shoe makers with pointy ears and beady eyes. They were most likely grumpy because people are always trying to steal their gold.
According to legend, if a leprechaun is caught he can be forced to reveal where his gold is hidden. Leprechauns (and kids) are hard to catch because they are fast. Once caught, you are supposed to continuously supervise him (like kids) or else the grumpy little shoe maker will vanish before you can find his gold. Note: If they're as grumpy as mythology suggests, there had better be enough gold to hire a babysitter because the last thing I need is another angry little person running around my house!
Beware! According to some articles, leprechauns have cousins called cluricauns. The cluricauns are drunken little creatures who like to wreak havoc during the night. Leprechauns are just angry; cluricains are trouble makers. Personally, I'd like to avoid both sets of these angry little trolls. I already have 2 grumpy boys during the day who also wreak havoc on my sleep schedule by night. Leprechauns and cluricauns? I say no thank you!
Right now you're probably thinking, "Hey! I thought this was supposed to be an article with Boredom Busters!" It is. Sort of. Below are links to some fun activities, events and crafts to help celebrate Saint Patrick's day. Don't forget to wear green… I'm on pinch patrol this year!
Click here to read How to Catch a Leprechaun: Making a trap to catch the little grump with everyday items around the home. Click here for a poem about catching a run away leprechaun. Read it before you make the trap!
Make your very own leprechaun with an empty roll of toilet paper and a few other supplies. Don't worry if you aren't as crafty as Martha Stewart… click here for directions and a how-to video. According to the video, "Your neighbors will be green with envy when they see these tiny decorations."
The Market in Maryville is offering a special St Pat's lunch and dinner. Celebrate by having an Irish-inspired meal of corned beef with sweet and spicy mustard, cabbage and new potatoes for only $7.99.
Visit the Titanic Museum's First Annual Irish Celebration. You can actually visit this exhibit for the entire month of March. Hardworking, skilled Irish laborers helped build Titanic in Belfast. In fact, many Irish men and women served as crew on her maiden voyage. As a passenger group, the Irish outnumbered all other nationalities on board. During the month of March the museum attraction honors the Irish—the spirited, irrepressible, hardworking men and women from the Emerald Isle. Come prepared to be entertained with the music, song and folklore that accompanied these courageous souls on their voyage to America. "T’is a grand time you and your family will be havin’ here at Titanic. Be sure to be wearin’ somethin’ green."
Make potato stamps. Click here to learn how. The weather is predicted to be nice so take this activity outside and you won't have to worry about clean-up. If you are skilled with a knife, you can even carve clover shapes into the potatoes for an extra Irish flare.
Celebrate with food! You can add a ton of green food coloring to everything you make, or click here for the Top 20 St Patrick's Day Recipes from AllRecipes.com.
By Rebecca Tatum, Web Editor