When we think springtime in Texas, we think bluebonnets. The beauty of roadsides and fields covered in these beautiful, bright blue flowers gives Texans the feeling of home. The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas. This unique flower is a genuine Texas treasure as it blooms throughout mostly central, eastern and southeastern Texas during March and April.
It is called the bluebonnet for their petals shaped like pioneer bonnets. The flower grows in the wild population along with Indian paintbrush and many other forms of various wildflowers.
Some people come from all over the country and state to drive the scenic highways lined with fields of bluebonnets during this stunning time of year. This iconic flower is a symbol of the faith, pride, and beauty of the great state of Texas and the good people who live there. How did the Texas bluebonnet become such a big part of Texas?
Legend of the Bluebonnets Beginning
The legend goes that many years ago the land was inhabited by several Native American tribes. The weather was harsh and the people suffered through several years of devastating loss. Floods washed away their villages. Scorching summers fried their crops and food sources. Harsh winters caused several of their tribal members to suffer and die. The tribe knew that the Great Spirit was unhappy with them.
In order to preserve their lives and seek blessings from the Great Spirit for help, the tribal men gathered. As they sought to appease the Great Spirit they offered prayers, dances and gathered often to decide what to do. At one particular council, the Great Spirit heard their pleas and told them their people had grown greedy and selfish. In order to restore their food supply, have rainfall and escape the harsh weather they must offer the ultimate sacrifice and burn their most prized possession. Then they were to scatter the ashes across the land.
The council of men knew not exactly what to sacrifice. As they discussed the meaning, a small girl sat in the corner of the room with her head hung down. She held in her hands a most beloved cornhusk doll, with bright blue clothes and beautiful flowers in her hair. She loved her doll more than anything, and she knew what she must do to help her tribe.
Late in the night, the young girl snuck out while the village slept. She went to the top of a hill where she gathered logs and dried leaves. She started a fire and burnt her precious doll as an offering to the Great Spirit. As the fire went out, she gathered up the ashes. Then, stood at the top of the hill as she blew the ashes all across the land. She sadly watched as the wind carried them away in many different directions.
The next morning, the village woke up and were amazed to find lush, green fields full of bright, blue flowers. The bluebonnets were born as a symbol that the Great Spirit had accepted this little one’s sacrifices and would no longer plague the land.
This beautiful story reminds us all that we must put others before ourselves. The bluebonnet helps us remember we are all part of something bigger. A community of people who help, serve and lift up one another.
Saint Patrick’s Day comes and goes every March 17th with millions of people celebrating by parading around in green clothing, sporting leprechaun hats, and four-leaf clovers. The pubs and bars are full of those partaking of the festivities and live, cultural musical celebrations. Does anyone really know what it all represents?
Saint Patrick himself dates back to the fourth century where the Saint was born into a Roman British family. Irish marauders invaded his home when he was just 16 years old and he was forced into slavery back in Ireland. During this time he had six years to think about who he was and what he believed. He decided to find God and follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and father who were both priests in the Christian church of the time. It is recorded that the Lord spoke to Patrick and helped him escape by boat to return home. Once safely home he also became a priest and decided to return to Ireland and convert the Irish Pagan people to Christianity.
His name goes down in history as a Priest who brought thousands to Christianity and spent his life in the service of the Irish people, freeing them from the oppressive Pagan religious leadership that was imposed on their lives. Saint Patrick’s death, March 17th, 461 AD, continues to represent a spectacular celebration in his honor. It is a public holiday in Ireland and a few provinces of Canada. However, it is the most widely celebrated holiday outside of its country of origin by all of those who have immigrated to foreign lands and taken the traditional with them.
Local St. Patrick’s Day Festivities are booming this year in big cities around Texas. Here are two events that are focused on family entertainment and have long-standing traditions with plenty of Gaelic heritage to go around.
Austin -St. Patrick’s Day Festival – Saturday, March 17th Pioneer Farms 12:00 to 7:00 pm
Family friendly at it’s finest this Irish festival is hosted by the Celtic Cultural Center and is a traditional way of participating in St. Patrick’s Day events. There will be a wide array of musical performances from traditional Irish dancers to authentic Irish music. With something for everyone, this party will be one you don’t want to miss. Food, games, displays, educational booths and so much more. Check out the official website for directions and details, http://www.stpatricksdayaustin.com/.
Houston St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Saturday, March 17th 12:00 pm
The 59th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade rolls downtown Houston this Saturday! Don’t miss this chance to gear up in your green and join the Irish celebration! Starting at the clocktower at Minute Maid Park, the parade will move westward through downtown. Lucky’s Pub is hosting an after party for the adults. For details and information check out this link http://hsppc.org/parade-info/.
San Antonio St. Patrick’s Day River Parade – Saturday, March 17 4:00-6:00 pm
Partying on the River Walk has never been better! This St. Patrick’s Day Parade features delightfully decorated floats that actually float along the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. A free event that everyone will truly enjoy, it features live music, Irish food, and entertainment for the whole family. Information about this parade can be found at https://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/events/st.-patricks-day-river-parade.