Though I am Irish, I don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day. In fact, I go so far as to wear black on St. Patrick's.. I know most people don't give the day a second thought. It's a day to have fun, wear green, possibly pinch people and drink. They see the symbols, the shamrock and leprechauns as all good fun.
So, why am I so opposed to the celebrating of this innocent holiday? Well, because everything you probably know about what St. Patrick did is wrong..
When you ask the average person, why do we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, if they don't just shrug their shoulders, they will tell you St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland. That is the story that had been told over and over. There is a slight flaw with that story though... It's a complete lie.
Ireland, as anyone who has studied geography knows, is an island. And according to National Geographic there are no snakes today in Ireland (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090316-st-patricks-day-facts.html). But you know what? There never were! Snakes can't swim though the frigid waters around Ireland to migrate there. So, if there are no snakes in Ireland... What exactly did St. Patrick do that made the Catholic Church like him enough to make him a saint?
He was a missionary. And missionaries have only one purpose, oh they may say they are building houses or digging wells, but the only true purpose of a missionary is to convert people to their religion, in this case Christianity. And that's what St. Patrick was doing in Ireland.
And missionaries at that time didn't come in hold hands and sing songs. No, this was more the wrath of god time frame. They came in and did their best to lay waste to the predominate religion of the area before replacing it with Christianity. And that's exactly what St. Patrick was doing. He was going after the Druids. He destroyed their holy places. He converted the king, which then put into place a system for the government to persecute non-Christians.
So when it is said that St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland, what they are really saying is his drove the Druids (who ancient symbol for wisdom was the serpent) out of Ireland. The celebration of St. Patrick's Day is the celebration of a religious genocide.
Therefore, on St. Patrick's Day I will be wearing nothing green. I will drink no green beer, and I will have no leprechaun traps built at my house. I do not celebrate holidays that glorify men who did nothing more with their lives then persecute and kill others. I choose not to glorify St. Patrick as I choose not to glorify Columbus. I choose to teach my children the truth, not the white washed hallmark version that most people believe.