March is here and that means two things: spring is just around the corner, and it's nearly time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The holiday is Irish in origin, but over the years it's become a fairly well-loved tradition by people from all around the world as a day to eat, drink, and generally make merry. For religious Irish Catholics observing the fast for Lent, restrictions on eating and drinking were lifted for one day on St. Patrick's Day. This is likely to have been a contributing factor in the holiday's current association with alcoholic consumption.
St. Patrick (c. A.D. 385 to 461), was a Christian missionary from Roman Britain. He is thought to have come from a wealthy Romano-British family. At 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and brought back to Gaelic Ireland, where he spent the next six years as a shepherd. After a vision from God told him to run away to the coast, where a ship would be waiting for him, he found his way back to his family and became a priest.
Patrick then returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. He apparently converted thousands of people in the northern parts of Ireland. His efforts to convert, subjugate, or forcibly drive away pagans from Ireland eventually became the legend of St. Patrick driving out the "snakes" from Ireland (which has never had any actual snakes). March 17 marks the date on which he allegedly died, which is why we celebrate on this day.
The symbols of St. Patrick are usually green, and he is often depicted with a shamrock (three-leaf clover) in one hand. This is because, according to the story, St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to his converts. Three was a significant number in pagan Ireland, and Pagans had many triple deities, which may have helped St. Patrick ease more and more Pagans into Christianity. Four-leaf clovers are traditionally difficult to find, and signify good luck, or "the luck o' the Irish." In this video tutorial, you'll learn to make your own four-leaf clover nail design just in time for St. Patrick's Day!