It’s the beginning of March and spring is almost here again. With spring’s sunshine, flowers, and rain comes a few holidays to kick off warmer weather. However, did you know that both holidays actually have religious roots? The first, St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, by Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick. Patrick felt lead to come to Ireland from Great Britain. His mission to cleanse The Emerald Isles of paganism and convert the Irish to Christianity by building schools and monasteries along Ireland’s North and West coasts.
The second holiday, falling this year on March 31st, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin, lead a blameless life, performed miracles, and ministered until the time that he was crucified in place of Barabbas. Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection after laying dead three days in the grave.
With that in mind I couldn’t help but think how far we have gotten from the original meaning of these two religious holidays. This pulls my mind back to Christmas. Christmas has become very commercial and about how much consumers are willing to spend. Yet, I’m thinking it’s easier to see the reason for the season during Christmas with the ceramic nativity scenes and carols being sung than it is here in the springtime. St. Patrick’s Day has shifted to being a day to celebrate Irish culture in general including wearing green, doing a jig and toasting a pint (or two) instead of honoring St. Patrick. Easter has become more of a time to celebrate spring itself and new beginnings. It’s hard to find The Cross of Calvary among chocolate eggs, bouncing bunnies and chirping chicks.
My point is- Christmas isn’t the only season with a reason. Take time to study our culture and history. Don’t neglect having fun in the community celebrating what Patrick did for the Irish and the peace that comes with what Jesus did on Calvary. Just remember our traditions have roots with very significant people and events.
Sources- History.com and The New Testament