5 Facts About St. Patrick’s Day
By: Alexandra Shea
We all know St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday filled with green everywhere the eye can see, people drinking as much as they can, and parades galore. But here are some facts you probably didn’t know and some that Irish I knew about sooner!
1. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place in Boston.
It took place on March 18, 1737 and was later followed by the New York parade in 1762. Ireland did not have their first St. Patrick’s Day parade until 1931, almost two centuries after Boston’s. Yet another reason to be proud to live in Boston!
2. March 17th is when St. Patrick died.
The day that we all call St. Patrick’s day is actually the day that he died. This symbolizes his entrance into Heaven, rather than having his Feast Day be on the day he was born. And, in case you’re wondering how old he would be, it is believed that St. Patrick died March 17, 461 A.D.
3. St. Patrick is not officially a Saint.
Although he is always referred to and recognized as a Saint, St. Patrick has never officially been canonized (made a saint) by the Catholic Church. There was no formal canonization process during the first millennium when St. Patrick was alive, and as a result he was not made a saint. But he was proclaimed a saint by popular opinion and even the Church recognizes that he is a saint in Heaven.
4. St. Patrick’s color is actually blue.
The original color associated with St. Patrick was blue. The color blue became symbolic of the country for many centuries. He is depicted in many pieces of artwork in blue, and it was only later that green became associated with him. This is possibly because of the green countryside of Ireland or the association of the green shamrock with St. Patrick.
5. Every year in Chicago, the river is dyed green.
For more than 50 years, since 1952, and sponsored by the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union, the Chicago River is dyed kelly green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The dye starts off as orange, but then turns into a beautiful Irish green that transforms the river into a St. Patrick’s Day miracle. Other places have tried to replicate this, but none have successfully accomplished it since the recipe for the dye is top secret.
Hopefully, these facts were new and interesting. And, now that you know them, you can make your friends green with envy by showing off your new knowledge of St. Patrick’s Day. Or you can just shamROCK out the whole day to the music at parades. Whatever you decide to do, Irish you a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!