10 Interesting Facts About St. Patrick’s Day!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What a fun day to celebrate! Have you ever stopped and thought about who this great Saint Patrick is and why each year there are celebrations around the world?
Here are 10 interesting facts that you may not know about the man himself and why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
March 17th is the Day Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died. The day was originally a Christian observed holiday to celebrate Saint Patrick and the introduction of Christianity to Ireland, which included church service, public parades, festivals and large feasts. Alcohol consumption and restrictions on food were lifted for an entire day during the 9th and 10th centuries, ultimately turning into the current celebrations and traditions of today.
Saint Patrick was not Irish; he was originally from Great Britain. At the young age of 16, he was captured by Irish pirates, and held captive as a slave for several years. Saint Patrick eventually escaped, but soon returned to bring Christianity to Ireland.
It’s St Paddy’s Day, not St Patty’s Day. Patty actually is a nickname for Patricia, a woman’s name, and Paddy is short for Padraig, the Irish version of Patrick. Ireland even turned to Facebook to tell the world we are saying it wrong.
Blue was the traditional color of Saint Patrick’s Day, not green. In most pictures of Saint Patrick. he is always wearing a blue frock, which was the color of the holiday for hundreds of years. In the late 1700s, green became the symbol of Irish nationalism, opposing British rule; changing the customary color to green.
Ireland banned alcohol consumption on Saint Patrick’s Day for the greater part of the 20th century. Up until the 1970s, this was only a religious holiday causing pubs and restaurants to be closed. In 1970, Ireland proclaimed it a national holiday and lifted the ban on alcohol.
The shamrock started out as a religious symbol, not the symbol of Ireland. Saint Patrick used the shamrock as a metaphor to introduce Christianity to the Irish people.
In 1996, Ireland established the Saint Patrick’s Day Festival. The festival was a movement by the Republic of Ireland to show the world an accurate image of Ireland and its culture. This festival began as a 1-day event and has since turned into a 5-day festival with parades, fireworks, concerts, and theatrical performances.
Saint Patrick’s Day has even been celebrated in space by Irish American aboard the International Space Station in 2011 and 2013.
Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are 1 in 10,000.