This Saturday is St. Patrick's Day It's a traditional Irish holiday where everyone acts goofy and pretends to be green. Americans call it Al Gore Day.
In this contest you are asked to photoshop anything related to St. Patrick's Day. Examples may include adding the green holiday theme to celebrities and politicians as well as characters and objects from the paintings and movies.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: The famous Irishman who is associated with St. Patrick's Day started his life far from being a saint. Born with the name of Maewyn in Wales, he thought of himself as a pagan, and was sold into slavery by vandals who robbed his native village. Maewyn was only 16 at that time; while he was in captivity he started his path of becoming closer to God. Six years after being in captivity, he managed to run away and his destiny brought him to the Gaul monastery, where he began his Christianity studies under the supervision of bishop of Auxerre. Twelve years passed and Maewyn, a solid scholar by that time, felt that his destiny lied in going back to Ireland and converting native pagans to Christianity.
His wish was only fulfilled after another two years when St. Palladius who was doing this job, was transferred from Ireland to Scotland. Maewyn adopted a Christian name Patrick and was given the post as second bishop to Ireland.
St. Patrick was preaching Christianity with passion and faith and converted many pagans throughout the country. Celtic Druids of native pagans were not happy with St. Patrick's converting "their" people and arrested him many times, but every time Patrick managed to escape and continue his job with establishing new Christian monasteries along with new schools. His goal was to make the whole of Ireland a Christian country. His mission went on for thirty years and showed great progress never achieved by his predecessors. Patrick died in retirement on March 17, AD 461, and this day has since then been known as St. Patrick's Day.
He became a true legend and Irish folklore has many sagas about him, some of them more fiction than truth. One legend has it that Patrick drove away snakes from Ireland, and another one says he raised people from the dead much like Jesus. The snake legend is probably based on a metaphorical notion of the conversion of pagans to Christians, as well as the second legend, as baptism is considered being born again into Christianity. Started as a strict Catholic holiday St. Patrick's Day became a wildly celebrated national holiday in Ireland.
One of the symbols associated with this holiday is a shamrock. Rumor has it Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to pagans and show how the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit exist as three elements of the same entity. Thus, the custom of having a shamrock on St Patrick's Day was born.
In the United States this holiday started being officially celebrated in 1737 in Boston. It is associated with parades, beer, leprechauns, pots of gold and everything green. In fact, because St Patricks Day comes just several days before the first day of spring, the green color seems more than appropriate.