by Holley Cornetto
St. Patrick's Day, or the Feast of St. Patrick, is a religious and cultural phenomenon. Several countries have adopted this holiday, and it is widely celebrated even among those without Irish ancestry. We all wear green and say things like, "Kiss me, I'm Irish!" We set leprechaun traps, drink green beer, and search for shamrocks. But did you ever stop to wonder why?
People love strange historical objects, but one stands out from the typical collection of oddities—a tear catcher.
The Victorians are known for using lachrymatories or tear catchers. If there’s one thing Victorians knew how to do, it was to mourn. They had elaborate rituals they had to follow to properly show their dead loved ones how much they meant to them. Not only did they wear fancy black clothing, but they also couldn't attend certain social events during their mourning season. They had to dress and act in a way that was appropriate for someone who was mourning.