5 Things You Didn't Know About St. Patrick's Day

Formerly St. Patrick’s Day was a day to celebrate the life of Saint Patrick, who was the patron saint of Ireland. Today the holiday is a celebration of the Irish culture and is celebrated by holding parades, making special foods, having music, dancing, and of course drinking. But there are many things that most of us, including myself, did not know about this special holiday.

 

Why the Shamrock?

Many of us might wonder why the shamrock is one of the significant representations of St. Patrick’s Day. Well according to Saint Patrick, the shamrock was used to as a metaphor to explain the Holy Trinity when he was converting to Christianity.

Cold Weather and the St. Patrick Legend

One of the main reasons why Saint Patrick was so celebrated in Ireland, was because he was able to drive out all the snakes. Many scientists believe that there were not any snakes in Ireland, and in fact, there never has been. Ever since the Ice Age, Ireland has been too cold to be the host of any reptiles, and too far from any current host for them to migrate to. It is believed that the snakes were also a metaphor, but in this case for serpents.

Chicago Goes Green

Ever since 1962, Chicago has been dying the river green in celebration of the holiday. It all started when the city of Chicago was trying to find the source of a pollution problem within the river, and used a special green dye. It was Stephen Bailey, who was part of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local and the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade chairman, who came up with the idea to dye the whole river green for the holiday. Ever since, the Plumbers Local has been in charge of the task, and thankfully is using a dye that isn’t worrying any major environmental groups.

Bar Tab

Of course many know that on St. Patrick’s Day drinking is a common activity to indulge in. However, did you know that more than 133 million Americans take place in this activity? On average each person will spend approximately $40 on St. Patrick day themed items, which could include green attire or even festive drinks. However, the overall beer tab for Americans is approximately $245 million. That’s a lot of money that buys a LOT of beer!

You Should be Wearing Blue

Everyone would have been pinching Saint Patrick on this day of green because it is shown in the earliest depictions of him that he was usually closed in blue garments. Many assume that it was his official color, meaning that we all should be wearing blue instead of green. However, the color green becomes the identity of the holiday around the 18th century when the Irish population was rebelling against the British crown. So when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day you should celebrate by wearing the color blue, and the color green, so you don't get pinched.

Now you know a little more information about St. Patrick’s Day and can celebrate properly! While you’re at the pub enjoying a nice pint of beer remember Saint Patrick and thank him for running out all the snakes in Ireland.

 

References:

 

Facts - http://mentalfloss.com/article/62220/what-do-they-use-dye-chicago-river-green-st-patricks-day

https://www.dealnews.com/features/Americans-Will-Rack-Up-a-245-Million-Bar-Tab-This-St.-Patricks-Day/677159.html

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140315-saint-patricks-day-2014-snakes-ireland-nation/

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Saint-Patricks-Day

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/should-st-patricks-day-be-blue-180954572/

 

Pictures - https://giphy.com