Things You Never Knew About St. Patrick’s Day
March 17, 2015, it’s the only day of the year that we’re all Irish — or at least claim to be.
The wearing of the green takes place all over America. Along with Leprechauns and four leaf clovers and green beer for all.
Here are a few things about St. Patrick’s Day that you might have missed.
St. Patty’s Day Trivia
- His name was not Patrick until he took that name when he became a priest. Before that he was “Maewyn Succat.” Just doesn’t have the same ring does it?
- St. Patrick was not even Irish. He was from Wales. He was captured and taken to Ireland to work as a slave but escaped, became a priest and returned to Ireland to bring Christianity to the island.
- St. Patrick is credited for driving all the snakes out of Ireland. To this day there are no snakes — there never were any snakes in Ireland. The surrounding waters coming down from the north would have been too cold for any snakes to swim there from England.
- St. Patrick used the clover or shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity. The three leaves represented the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
- In earlier times blue was the color used on St. Patrick’s Day because green was considered an unlucky color. The Coat of Arms of Ireland is still blue with a harp, not a shamrock, as the Irish symbol.
- Each year, Plumbers Local 110 dyes the Chicago River “Kelly” green that lasts about five hours.
- The popular phrase, “Erin go Bragh” means “Ireland forever.”
- Boston had the honor of hosting the very first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1737. New York followed with there own parade in 1766 and is now the largest attracting well over 1 million spectators each year.
- March 17th is believed to be the day St. Patrick died in A.D. 461. But it was not until the 9th or 10th century that Ireland began observing the holiday.
- Corned Beef and Cabbage? Not in Ireland. What did the Irish use for their holiday feast? Wait for it — BACON or lamb. Cows were used in the fields much like our horses for their strength and their milk. Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes are considered to be a more traditional Jewish meal.
- Can you imagine St. Patrick’s Day with all the bars closed? Irish bars closed on St. Patrick’s Day between 1903 and 1970 to observe the religious holiday.
Some Final Thoughts
Today we can all join the 33.7 million residents who can trace their ancestry back to Ireland. The rest of us will just be pretenders.
But I will have some corned beef and cabbage, and maybe watch “The Quiet Man” with John Wayne.
Thirteen million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide on this day.
Maybe I’ll have a couple of them.