English on the Internet - English Magazine


February 26, 2001

St. Patrick's Day is March 17, 2001. On this day is traditional to wear green to honor the Irish on this their holiday. The Irish celebrate this day that St. Patrick took the snakes out of Ireland. It is believed that he made all the snakes leave Ireland and so they set a special day aside to praise him for this wonderful gift. Since Ireland is called the "Emerald Isle" green is worn to celebrate this day.

Businesses in the US celebrate this occasion with large sales. Stores are decorated with leprechauns and shamrocks. Shamrocks are said to bring good luck to the wearer so many pins are sold in their shape. Green beer is sold in the bars and many stories are told about the "pot of gold" that can be yours if you catch a leprechaun. It is said if you capture one he will forfeit his "pot of gold" if you will set him free.

The Irish believe in we "wee folk" and often leave food and milk out for them so they will not cause mischief or pull pranks on them. It is said that the "wee folk" have an enemy in the family cat because it will catch and kill them because they are so small and the cat is a born hunter of anything small.

The Irish came to the US primarily as miners. They worked in the underground coal mines often making only pennies a day and sometimes having the mine give way and kill or injure them. The mines in at that time were dangerous and there were no laws to protect the miner. They were allowed to charge what they needed at the Company Store then the company took it out of their pay before they received it. They lived in company houses which were often shacks without much in the way of shelter for them and their families but was the only housing available. The Company owned everything and they had little chance to get out of debt. This monopoly is one reason that mining laws changed and today's miner makes a good wage and works in a safe environment.

That is why everyone celebrates this Irish holiday to help celebrate the hardships they endured and how they helped change our mining laws so now everyone can feel safe working in the underground coal mines.

by Jane Custer - USA, has a BS in Communications and loves writing
to honor - vzdát čest
to celebrate - oslavovat
snakes - hadi
to praise - vychvalovat
Emerald Isle - smaragdový ostrov
leprechauns - irští skřítci, kteří nosí štěstí
shamrocks - čtyřlístek
miners - horníci
coal mines - uhelné doly
to injure - zranit
shacks - chatrče
hardships - strádání, utrpení

© February 2001 English on the Internet www.aj.cz