St. Patrick’s Day sets an appropriate time for both kids and adults to discover more on the meanings of common Irish motifs and their history as well.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day is popular in which people wear green clothes and drink green beer. However, this celebration held on March 17th every year has both cultural and religious influences. The day is named after the most recognized patron saint of Ireland called Saint Patrick. He lived from 385-461 A.D.
Saint Patrick’s Day has been declared a public holiday in the Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, British Overseas Territory of Montserrat and the Canadian province of Labrador and Newfoundland.
The Irish diaspora around the world also celebrates this day, especially those in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Argentina. St. Patrick is considered the world’s most celebrated national festival.
Irish Diaspora festivals, especially those that started in North America have influenced modern celebrations significantly. Recently, St. Patrick’s Day has been widely criticized for fostering negative Irish stereotypes and for being too commercialized.
This celebration is held to commemorate the introduction of Christianity in Ireland and the arrival of Saint Patrick himself. Besides, it is meant to celebrate the heritage and culture of Ireland. St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain.
At the age of 16, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to work as a slave. He tried all means to free himself, and eventually, he managed to escape and went back home. He studied to become a priest. St. Patrick then went back to Ireland and started teaching Irish Christianity.
Without further ado, let’s explore more interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day.
1. On this day, we should wear blue. St. Patrick himself had to deal with the pinching on his feast day. “St. Patrick’s blue” was his color. People only came to associate green color with this day after it was linked to the Irish Independent movement in the late 18th century.
2. Saint Patrick was a Briton. Though he set a milestone by introducing Christianity to Ireland, Patrick was not an Irish. He was born to Roman parents who live in Scotland in the late 4th century.
3. On Saint Patrick’s Day, some people prefer to wear a shamrock on their lapel. The kids wear white, green and orange badges in Ireland; some would even wear bunches of shamrocks on their jackets. Women and girls usually wear green ribbons in their hair.
4. March 17th was chosen as Saint Patrick’s Day because that’s the day he died.
5. Saint Patrick’s Day falls during Lent. However, the restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are only lifted for the day. It’s believed this is the reason why drinking became a strong tradition of St. Patrick Day.
6. Traditionally, an Irish leader gives a crystal bowl full of shamrock to the President of United States. After the exchange, the secret service destroys the shamrock (grown in Kerry) immediately.
7. Persecuted Irish are the ones who started Saint Patrick’s Day in 18th century American cities. They were trying to prove and hold on to their culture and heritage.
8. The Irish soda bread is a common diet on Saint Patrick’s Day. Sometimes people cut a cross into the dough before baking to drive out any devil.
9. Although he dedicated most of being oppressed while preaching to druids, Saint Patrick was largely forgotten after he dies on March 17th 461.
10. St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City is one of the largest parades in the world. 250,000 marchers have participated in this parade. They traipsed up Fifth Avenue on foot. The parade still does not allow cars, floats or other modern trappings.