St. Paddy’s Day: Exposed by an Irishman

 

Saint Patrick’s Day is for many of us a mysterious holiday. All you may really know about it is you wear tons of green, it’s on March 17th, many people pretend to be “Irish,” and people tend to spend some time at the pub. So I decided that, since one of my friends actually lives in Dublin, I was going to get a run down on the holiday and educate myself on the deets. Here are some of the key facts I discovered.

 

1. It’s St. Paddy’s Day, NOT St. Patty’s Day

 

If you are like me, you have always called it St. Patty’s Day as a short version of St. Patrick’s Day, but this is wrong! It’s Saint Paddy’s Day, since it derives from the Irish male name Pádraig, the Irish version of Patrick. Patty is the nickname for Patricia.

 

2. Shamrocks should be three leaf clovers, NOT four

 

People often mistakenly believe that the four leaf clover is associated with the holiday however, it is actually the three leaf clover that is the shamrock. As well, the three leafs of the clover may symbolize the Holy Trinity, essential to the Irish culture.

 

3. Don’t go around saying “I’m Irish”

 

This is something that really gets my friend Ruairí wound up. When tourists, especially North Americans, hop over the pond, he finds many seem to claim that they are “Irish.” Ruairí would like to make this distinction: being of Irish descent doesn’t make you Irish. The people born and raised there don’t take these claims too lightly, and can often be quite offended.

 

4. St. Patrick did chase the snakes out of Ireland

 

You might have heard the story that St. Patrick became the patron saint of Ireland because he chased the snakes out of the country into the sea. This is true! According to tradition, this Christian missionary can be credited for the snake-free status of this nation!

 

5. Guinness is a stout, and you should really try Jameson Whiskey

 

If you want to be more specific, classify Guinness as a stout. Although it is a type of beer, to the Irish, it is important to make this distinction. As well, if you want to mix it up this March 17th, try some Jameson Irish Whiskey at your local pub. A fan favourite, this brand of whiskey is world-renowned and is also popular in Ireland.

 

So there are some fun facts you may or may not have known about this national holiday! I hope y’all have a great March 17th.

 

Sources: 1/2/3/4/5/6