Hey guys! Welcome to our ENGLISH BITES – The simplest, easiest and best way to practice your listening – the only one that is 100% created, executed and delivered from me to you – This is Erika Belmonte speaking and I’ll be more than pleased to be here with you guys three times a week and I’m pretty sure we’ll have a great time together – because more than learning and improving your English, I also want you to have some fun through a very exclusive content.
Oh…. One more thing, in case you need the transcription of this English Bite, please go to www.clubedoingles.com/englishbites and look for the episode number 38.
Well, I can’t say Happy St Patrick’s Day to you guys today because actually, St Patrick’s Day is gonna be tomorrow, March 17th but I couldn’t miss the chance to come and share some very curious things about this so important and celebrated day by Irish people and in a general way, Americans and British as well, once there is a huge population of Irish people in these countries.
I’d like to start sharing a very quick story about St. Patrick because I imagine some of you might not be familiar with or even understand why this day is celebrated, why people wear green and party all day and all night long. After that, I’ll mention four curiosities about this day and one more thing: don’t forget to check my social media tomorrow (instagram, facebook and linkedin) because I’m gonna show you something special and funny.
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17th, the traditional religious feast day of St. Patrick and the day he is believed to have died in 460 A.D. The Irish have observed this religious holiday for hundreds of years. But, how did we come to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the United States?
St. Patrick is the beloved patron saint of Ireland. The Irish are famous for spinning exaggerated tales, so despite the infamous stories traditionally attributed to St Patrick, quite little is actually known about his life. We do know that St Patrick was born in Britain and that at the age of 16 was captured by Irish raiders who attacked his family’s estate. He was then transported to Ireland where he was held captive for six years, living a solitary, lonely life as a shepherd. It was then that he became a devout Christian, embracing his religion for solace. From his writing, we know that a voice, which he believed to be that of God, spoke to him in a dream, urging him to leave Ireland. He did. Walking nearly 200 miles, Patrick escaped to Britain and undertook seriously religious training.
After 15 years of study, Patrick was ordained as a priest and sent to Ireland. His mission was to minister to Christians and to convert the Irish, then pre-dominantly pagans, to Christianity. Because Patrick was familiar with the Irish language and culture from his years of captivity, he chose to incorporate Irish ritual and symbols into his teachings rather than to eradicate Irish beliefs. Thus, was born the Celtic cross.
The history of St Patrick’s Day in America, however, begins with Irish soldiers serving in the British army. \That very first parade in New York City not only helped the homesick Irish soldiers connect with their roots through the familiar strains of traditional Irish music—usually featuring bagpipes and drums, but also helped them to connect with one another, finding strength in numbers.
Ok, now let’s talk about some curious facts in Saint Patrick’s Day in the USA:
- New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the world’s largest parades. Since 1762, 250,000 marchers have traipsed up Fifth Avenue on foot – the parade still doesn’t allow floats, cars, or other modern trappings.
- New York may have more manpower, but Chicago has a spectacle all its own. The city has been celebrating Saint Patrick by dumping green dye into the Chicago River since 1962. It takes 40 tons of dye to get the river to a suitably festive shade!
- Another little-known fact from Irish lore: Leprechauns earned that gold they’re guarding. According to legend, leprechauns spend their days making and mending shoes. It’s hard work, so you can’t blame them for being territorial about their pots of gold.
- Corned beef and cabbage is a staple at St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Well, Chicago is quite close to my city but this is going to be the first year I am not going to see the beautiful Chicago River in green but I have very fond memories from the past two years and if you’re curious to see some pictures of it, I mean, the green river, parade and everything, just check the link available in the transcription ok?
So, that’s it for today guys. I really hope you have enjoyed today’s episode. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your support and for listening to this English bite. If you have any suggestion, anything you’d like to learn from our English Bites, please let me know alright?
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Take care of yourselves and I’ll see you on the next one. Bye