Reviving the St Patrick's Day traditions!

St Patrick's Day history, games, quiz, recipes and kids activities with The Galway Advertiser, Galway City Council and Galway City Museum

ST PATRICK’S Day will be an online celebration this year. It's a great occasion to spend time with family and have fun at home. That's why The Galway AdvertiserGalway City Council and Galway Museum have come together to bring fun and interactive content and activities for all the family to your home. Discover about St Patrick's Day traditions history, give our St Patrick's Day quiz a try and enjoy games and activities with the kids, including DIY St Patrick's Day badges, Scavenger hunt and colouring!

First off it's time to remind ourselves how the St Patrick's celebrations all started. Read on to discover the history behind the badges, parade, and festivities traditions, five facts about St Patrick and the story of Saint Patrick and the Snake for the children and a DIY manual to create home-made St Patrick badges, followed by a St Patrick's Day quiz, colouring activities and a St Patrick's Day Scavenger hunt!

Read our full St Patrick's Day feature to see what else in on for St Patrick's Day!

1. Five Facts about St Patrick's Day

1. About Saint Patrick

St Patrick, the national saint of Ireland, was a fifth-century missionary, credited with spreading Christianity in Ireland. Since 1903, his feast day, 17 March, has been a public holiday in Ireland. In recent years, St Patrick’s Day has become a global celebration of Ireland and Irishness. As a result, Patrick is arguably the most widely known saint in the world, after St Nicholas (Santa Claus ).

2. Myth-busting

Patrick wasn’t Patrick – he was born Maewyn Succat Patrick wasn’t Irish – he was born in Roman Britain. Patrick wasn’t the first to bring Christianity to Ireland – Pope Celestine sent Palladius to the Irish as their first bishop in 431. Patrick is not Ireland’s only patron saint; he is one of three. Patrick did not, literally, drive snakes out of Ireland; unlike neighbouring Britain, Ireland has no native snakes. Patrick was never formally canonised by the Church, but is a saint by popular acclaim. The first recorded St Patrick’s Day parade took place in the USA, not Ireland. Shamrock is actually clover!

3. Life of St Patrick

Patrick was born somewhere in the west of Britain to a family of Romanised Celts in the fifth century.

At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland as a slave. He spent six years tending animals on Slemish Mountain, Co. Antrim. Then, guided by a dream, Patrick escaped and fled Ireland for the Continent, where he studied and was ordained. Following another dream, in which he heard “the voice of the Irish” calling him back, he returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary around AD 460.

Back in Ireland, Patrick and his band of monks toured the island banishing the old gods, battling kings and druids, and converting the Irish to Christianity.

In old age, he was cared for by St Bridget at Saul, Co. Down and there he died on 17 March, c. 493. According to tradition, St Patrick is buried – alongside St Bridget and St Colmcille – at Dowpatrick, Co. Down. The short rhyme goes: “In Down, three saints one grave do fill, Patrick, Brigid and Colmcille”. Patrick, Bridget and Colmcille are the three patron saints of Ireland.

4. St Patrick’s Day Parade

The first recorded St Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Ireland but rather in Boston, USA on 17 March, 1737. New York City held its first parade in 1762. The first parade in Ireland took place in Waterford in 1903. The first official, state-sponsored parade in Dublin took place in 1931.

5. Popular Irish Name

The name Patrick comes from the Latin patricius meaning ‘noble’. In times past, it was one of the most common boys’ names in Ireland. There are many variations of the name – Pat, Paddy, Paudie, Pattie, Patsy, Packie, Pa, and, in Irish, Pádraic and Pádraig.

Cúig Fíric faoi Naomh Pádraig

1. Mar gheall ar Naomh Pádraig

Misinéir sa chúigiú haois ab ea Naomh Pádraig, éarlamh na hÉireann, agus deirtear gurbh é Pádraig a thug an Chríostaíocht go hÉirinn. Ó bhí 1903 ann, is lá saoire poiblí é an 17 Márta, in onóir Phádraig. Le blianta beaga anuas tá Lá Fhéile Pádraig á cheiliúradh ar fud an domhain agus is lá mór é chun Éire a cheiliúradh. Ciallaíonn sé sin gurb é Naomh Pádraig an dara naomh is cáiliúla ar domhan (tar éis San Nioclás nó Daidí na Nollag ).

2. Scéalta nach bhfuil fíor

Ní Pádraig an t-ainm a bhí ar an bhfear seo, ach Maewyn Succat Ní in Éirinn a rugadh Pádraig, ach sa Bhreatain a bhí faoi smacht na Rómhánach.

Níorbh é Pádraig an chéad duine a thug an Chríostaíocht go hÉirinn – chuir an Pápa Celestine fear darbh ainm Palladius go hÉirinn mar chéad easpag na hÉireann i 431. Ní éarlamh amháin atá ar Éirinn, ach triúr. Ní fíor gur thiomáin Pádraig na nathracha as Éirinn; níor tháinig nathracha anseo riamh cé go bhfaightear iad sa Bhreatain. Ní dhearna an Eaglais naomh de Phádraig riamh, is muintir na hÉireann a rinne naomh de. I Meiriceá, seachas in Éirinn, a tharla an chéad Pharáid ar Lá Fhéile Pádraig. Ní rud ar leith í an tseamróg, is seamair é, i ndáiríre!

3. Saol Naomh Pádraig

Rugadh Pádraig áit éigin in iarthar na Breataine sa chúigiú haois, do theaghlach Ceilteach Rómhánach .

Ghabh creachadóirí Éireannacha é nuair a bhí sé sé bliana déag d’aois, agus thug siad go hÉirinn é mar sclábhaí. Chaith sé sé bliana ag tabhairt aire d’ainmhithe ar Shliabh Mis, Co. Aontroma. Ansin, faoi threoir bhrionglóide, d’éalaigh Pádraig agus theith sé as Éirinn go dtí an Mór-Roinn, Rinne sé staidéar ansin agus rinneadh sagart de. Tar éis brionglóid eile, inar chuala sé “guth mhuintir na hÉireann” ag glaoch air, d’fhill sé ar Éirinn mar mhisinéir Críostaí timpeall AD 460.

Ar ais in Éirinn, chuaigh Pádraig agus a ghrúpa manach ar fud na tíre ag rá nach bhfuil aon chiall leis na sean-déithe, ag argóint le ríthe agus draoithe, agus ag insint do mhuintir na hÉireann faoin gCríostaíocht.

Ba í Naomh Bríd a thug aire do Phádraig nuair a chuaigh sé in aois, ag Sabhall, Co. an Dúin. Ba ansin a fuair sé bás ar an 17 Márta, c. 493. De réir an traidisiúin, tá Naomh Pádraig curtha ag Dún Pádraig, Co. an Dúin, in éineacht le Naomh Bríd agus Naomh Colm Cille. Tá rann gearr ann: “In Down, three saints one grave do fill, Patrick, Brigid and Colmcille”. Is iad Pádraig, Bríd agus Colm Cille trí éarlamh na hÉireann.

4. Paráid Lá Fhéile Phádraig

Ní in Éirinn ach i mBostún, SAM ar an 17 Márta, 1737, a tharla an chéad pharáid Lá Fhéile Pádraig is eol dúinn. Eagraíodh an chéad pharáid i gCathair Nua Eabhrac i 1762. I bPort Láirge i 1903 a tharla an chéad pharáid in Éirinn. Tharla an chéad pharáid oifigiúil i mBaile Átha Cliath i 1931.

5. Ainm Coitianta in Éirinn

Tagann an t-ainm Pádraig ón bhfocal Laidin ‘patricius’ a chiallaíonn ‘uasal’. Bhí an t-ainm seo an-choitianta i measc buachaillí in Éirinn uair amháin, agus tá go leor ‘Pádraig’ agus ‘Patrick’ ann fós. Tá leaganacha éagsúla den ainm ann – Pádraic and Pádraig sa Ghaeilge, agus Pat, Paddy, Paudie, Pattie, Patsy, Packie, Pa srl. sa Bhéarla.

St Patrick colouring

2. Story telling: St Patrick the Snake Driver

St Patrick is famous for driving snakes out of Ireland, and he is commonly depicted in art with his foot on a snake or pointing snakes in the direction of the sea. Yet, the Roman geographer Solinus noted – some two hundred years before Patrick – that there were no snakes in Ireland. So where does the story come from?

The islands of Lérins, off the south coast of France, are composed of two islands: Saint Marguerite, where the fabled Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned, and Saint Honorat, a once-renowned centre of religious learning. The latter island is named for St Honoratus, who settled there in the late fourth century. According to tradition, the island had no fresh water and was infested with poisonous snakes when he first arrived. Undeterred, Honoratus prayed and a spring of fresh water gushed from the rock, and then he set about driving all the snakes into the sea. It seems that Patrick’s Anglo-Norman biographers first borrowed this motif in the twelfth century.

St Patrick, it was said, spent nine years studying under St Honoratus on the Mediterranean island. When he was leaving on his missionary trip to Ireland, his tutor presented him with the staff that he had used to expel the snakes from the island.

In the 1930s, one Galway schoolchild recorded the following story about the origin of the River Shannon:

“When St. Patrick was in Ireland there were snakes in it. They knew St. Patrick was going to banish them out of Ireland. There was one big snake and he said he would be gone before St. Patrick would come. So he made his way out to the sea. The water began to run along the line that the snake left after him. That is the cause it is called the Shannon. So it was the snake that made the Shannon.”

Brendan McGowan, Galway City Museum

 

Naomh Pádraig, a thiomáin na Nathracha amach as Éirinn

Tá clú ar Naomh Pádraig as nathracha a thiomáint amach as Éirinn, agus léirítear go coitianta é san ealaín lena chos ar nathair nó ag tiomáint nathracha i dtreo na farraige. Ach, bhí sé tugtha faoi deara ag Solinus, tíreolaí Rómhánach, thart ar dhá chéad bliain roimh Phádraig, nach raibh aon nathracha in Éirinn. Mar sin cad as a dtagann an scéal?

Dhá oileán atá in oileáin Lérins, amach ó chósta theas na Fraince: Saint Marguerite, áit ar cuireadh an Man in the Iron Mask i bpríosún agus Saint Honorat, áit a rachadh daoine chun staidéar a dhéanamh. Chuir an Naomh Honoratus fúithi ar an dara hoileán sa cheathrú haois. De réir an traidisiúin, ní raibh aon uisce úr ar an oileán agus bhí nathracha nimhiúla i ngach áit nuair a tháinig Naomh Pádraig. Níor chuir sé sin eagla ar Honoratus. Ghuigh sí agus leis sin, phléasc uisce amach as an gcarraig. Thiomáin Naomh Pádraig na nathracha isteach san fharraige. Is cosúil gur úsáid na chéad Angla-Normannaigh a scríobh cuntas ar bheatha Phádraig an mhóitíf seo den chéad uair sa 12ú haois.

Dúradh gur chaith Naomh Pádraig naoi mbliana ag staidéar faoi Naomh Honoratus ar oileán Lérins sa Mheánmhuir. Agus é ag fágáil chun dul go hÉirinn mar mhisinéir, bhronn a mhúinteoir bachall air, an bhachall chéanna a d’úsáid sé chun na nathracha a thiomáint as Éirinn. Sna 1930í, scríobh páiste scoile i nGaillimh an scéal seo a leanas faoi tslí ar thosaigh Abhainn na Sionainne:

“Nuair a tháinig Naomh Pádraig go hÉirinn bhí nathracha anseo. Bhí a fhios acu go raibh Naomh Pádraig chun iad a thiomáint as Éirinn. Bhí nathair mhór amháin ann agus dúirt sé go n-imeodh sé sula dtiocfadh Naomh Pádraig. Rinne sé a bhealach chun na farraige. Thosaigh an t-uisce ag rith isteach sa líne sa talamh a d’fhág an nathair ina diaidh. Sin an fáth a dtugtar an tSionainn uirthi. Mar sin ba nathair a rinne an tSionainn.”

Brendan McGowan, Músaem Chathair na Gaillimhe

3. Reviving  the Tradition of St Patrick’s Crosses

st Patrick badges

Using these badges as inspiration, Brendan McGowan of Galway City Museum explains how to make your very own St Patrick’s Cross.

Materials

St Patrick’s Crosses were made of a variety of materials so you don’t need any special art and craft supplies. Make use of any recyclable materials that you may have lying around the house, such as empty cereal boxes, scrap fabric, and leftover wool, twine or thread.

Child-friendly scissors

Craft glue

Stiff card

Coloured ribbon, or any scrap fabric

Coloured paper, or white paper coloured in or painted

Coloured wool, twine or thread to make tassels

Tissue paper

Instructions:

1. Decide whether you want a square or circular badge.

2. Cut your backing board from card, such as a cereal box or paper plate.

3. Add a cross to the centre of your badge, using coloured ribbon, fabric or paper. The cross can be x-shaped or plusshaped.

4. Remember, there is no one way to decorate a St Patrick’s Cross, so use your creativity and have fun adding Irish emblems (shamrock or harp ), bows, tassels, and other ornaments to make your unique badge.

5. Finish off by making short cuts or v-shaped notches at regular intervals along the edges of your badge.

6. Wear your cross on St Patrick’s Day, or hang it up in your home as a decoration.

Galway City Museum  logo

Many people today wear a shop-bought rosette or ribbon – usually green or green, white and orange in colour and featuring a shamrock or harp – on St Patrick’s Day. In the past, however, it was traditional for boys and girls to make their own badges, called St Patrick’s Crosses. These were made in the run up to St Patrick’s Day and then worn on the chest or shoulder in honour of the saint.

The badges, measuring about 10cm across, featured a single or double cross in the centre. They were further adorned by adding in colour and decorations, such as rosettes, bows, tassels, and emblems of Ireland. The tradition gradually died out, but the National Museum of Ireland has some wonderful examples from the early twentieth century in its collections.

4. St Patrick's Day Quiz

Tourism Ireland St Patrick quiz

Can you Name the City?

Tourism Ireland every year organises some of the most famous attractions and sites around the world to go green to mark St Patrick’s Day. Can you name the cities in which these photos were taken in?

Download and print our St Patrick's Day Quiz

5. St Patrick's Day colouring activities

St Patrick colouring

Galway Cartoon Festival in association with Galway City Council is delighted to present this colouring-in /activity page for children everywhere. Using your markers, crayons, paints and colouring pencils you can draw your own St. Patrick’s Day Parade winding along the streets of Galway, then colour the crowd and buildings in!

The Galway Cartoon Festival will run this year from 1-9 October in various venues in Galway. 

For a high-resolution version of this image and St Patrcik and the snake by Galway City Musuem, download St Patrick's colouring activities and then print them off at home!

6. St Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt

Galway City Council wants young people to get out, explore and learn about what is on their doorsteps. The have organised a Scavenger hunt. Find out more about Galway City Council Scavenger hunt

Download the Scavenger hunt!

7. St Patrick's Day Recipe

Enjoy making this Italian bread with the kids. This Wild Garlic Focaccia Recipe brought to you by Jp McMahon, Aniar Boutique Cookery School.

Read our full St Patrick's Day feature to see what else in on for St Patrick's Day!

Tune in on our social media page for a #StPatrickTakeover on March 17th 2021 for more St Patrick's Day festivities!

 

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