8 Facts About St. Patrick’s Day You Probably Didn’t Know

It’s that time of year again, where the Irish, the shamrocks and the celebrations come out for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve got a little bit of an Irish background, so I thought I share some fun facts that come along with celebrating the day itself. So check them out, 8 things you may or may not have known about this celebratory day:

 

1. St. Patrick isn’t Irish! He was from Wales!

Many people don’t realize this but it’s true! Good old St. Patrick is not Irish, he is actually Welsh. He served as a missionary in Ireland but later fled back to England.

 

2. The Shamrock Symbol is a Teaching Tool

It’s been said that St. Patrick used the traditionally tri-leafed clover to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity in Christian religion (Father, the Son, and the Holy  Spirit) when he was serving as a missionary in Ireland. ☘

 

3. The First St. Patrick’s Day Parade Took Place in New York City in the 1760s

Regardless of it being a holiday based for Irish people, the parade started out in New York for the first time. How come? Many Irish emigrated to NY back in the 1760’s and this parade featured Irish soldiers serving in the English army.

 

4. Traditionally, Every Year, the Irish Leader Hands a Crystal Bowl Full of Shamrocks to the US President.

The shamrock, grown in Kerry, is immediately destroyed by the Secret Service after the exchange.

 

5. It Used to be a Dry Holiday

Hard to believe, right? Based on its religious associations it was considered an alcohol-free holiday for most of the 20th Century. In 1970, the drinking traditions started.

 

6. St. Patrick was Originally Associated with the Colour BLUE

My initial thought when I first heard this was, “No way!” In fact, it’s true, Saint Patrick’s blue was originally associated with Ireland being under British rule. Since the Irish Rebellion in 1798, the tradition of green has stood for our nationalism.

 

7. Corned Beef and Cabbage is a St. Patrick’s Day Staple

In honour of their culture, the initial Irish immigrants in the U.S. splurged on flavorful corned beef, which was accompanied by potato and the cheapest vegetable, cabbage.  It didn’t take long for corned beef and cabbage to become associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe you should give it a try this year!

 

8. It’s Paddy’s Day, NOT Patty’s Day

From what I can see, it’s widely known as Patty’s Day around Canada, however….in Ireland, it’s Paddy’s Day. Irish people are so strong on this point, so much so that they’ve dedicated a website to explaining it here… http://paddynotpatty.com/

 

So there you have it, some interesting facts you might not have known before! Have a great St. Patrick’s Day, and may the luck of the Irish be with you! ☘️

 

 

Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8