St. Patrick's Day is a celebration in honor of a man who set it upon himself to convert pagans into Christians. A pagan convert himself, he spent 30 years teaching Christianity and dedicating his life to this missionary work, setting up monasteries, schools and churches. It is supposed that he used the shamrock as a way of explaining the belief of the Trinity - three separate entities existing as one. He died on March 17, AD 461, and that is the day his efforts have been commemorated in the United States since the year 1737.
Many other stories and folklore have been created about the origin of the holiday, most of them a bunch of blarney. They have made the holiday more festive, with its emphasis on shamrocks, leprechauns, the color green, and drinking a lot of beer.
Some feel the connection to the Irish on a much more personal level than just one day a year. Some are drawn to the beliefs of Irish Christianity, and others are more drawn to the rich history and culture of the ancient Celtic Pagans and Druids. Over the years, Celtic and Pagan symbolism and art have become more widely accepted, even by Christians. Rather than a line of separation, they all tend to represent a love of Ireland and its customs. The shamrock is now merely a symbol of beautiful Ireland and St. Patrick's Day legend.
In honor of this day, I'd like to invite you to view the Irish & Celtic Tattoo Gallery for pictures of tattoos that celebrate the spirit of ancient Ireland. Happy St. Patrick's Day and may the luck of the Irish be with you!