By Rebecca Croft
St. Patrick?s Day is traditionally known for the luck of the Irish; however, you don?t have to be Irish to get in on some of that luck.
St. Patrick?s Day is celebrated on March 17 in honor of St. Patrick of Ireland who is known as one of the most revolutionary eighth century missionaries.
?Before he came to Ireland there was no religion at all,? said Irish descendent Erik Guiermand, from Las Vegas.
St. Patrick is credited with spreading the Catholic doctrine throughout Europe and Ireland. He was one of the first missionaries to travel abroad as well as one of the first missionaries to teach about the concept of the trinity by relating it to the three-leaf clover, according to the History Channel.
?The Irish nation is predominantly Catholic and it is all because of St. Patrick,? Guiermand said. ?St. Patrick?s Day is an important day to the nation because it reminds us of St. Patrick and how he brought religion and specifically Christianity to the nation.?
Although St. Patrick?s Day was originally celebrated as a religious holiday in honor of St. Patrick, it took on an additional theme of Irish luck and everything Ireland when it became a U.S. public holiday in 1903, according to the History Channel.
Some of the most recent traditions associated with St. Patrick?s Day are wearing the color green, catching a leprechaun or finding a four-leaf clover.
Irish legend claims wearing green symbolizes the teachings of St. Patrick, the luck of the shamrock and the dedication to Irish nationality. Therefore, by wearing green it blesses you with the ?luck of St. Patrick? or ?the luck of the Irish,? according to the History Channel.
However, wearing green is not the only way you can join in on the luck of the Irish. Leprechauns are a large part of the Irish traditions and catching a leprechaun could bring more luck and wealth than all the other traditions combined.
Leprechauns, according to the Irish myth, look like little old men who dress like a shoemaker with a cocked hat and a leather apron.
According to Elaine Landua, author of ?St. Patrick?s Day: Parades Shamrocks, and Leprechauns,? leprechauns are said to make shoes for the Irish good luck fairies that pay the leprechauns for their work in gold coins. The leprechauns then store the gold coins in a bucket at the end of a rainbow where they can always find and protect their treasure.
So, how do you catch one of these quick, little mythical creatures? According to Landau, legend says if you listen close enough you will hear the sound of the leprechaun?s hammer while he is working on the faries? shoes. The tapping will lead you to his location. From that point on, you are on your own find the gold.
If you still want to join in on the Irish luck but don?t feel like chasing down a leprechaun, you can try the luck of the four-leaf clover.
Although the majority of clovers have three leaves, the rare four-leaf clover does exist. The four leaves of the clover all represent a different virtue of luck. Tradition generally states that the four virtues are hope, faith, love and happiness, according to Landau.
However, the easiest way to join in on the luck of the Irish is by wearing green to symbolize the luck of the Irish.
Everyone is welcome to join in on the luck of the Irish regardless of nationality. As the traditional Irish blessing says, ?may your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.?