10 Things You Should Know About St. Patrick’s Day
1. St. Patrick Was Not Irish
St. Patrick was born in Scotland or Wales around the year 432 AD to Roman parents.
2. His real name was Maewyn
St. Patrick was actually born Maewyn Succat. He changed his name to Patricius (or Patrick) after becoming a priest. This is derived from the Latin term meaning “father figure.”
3. The Patron Saint Brings Christianity to Ireland
Known as the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick was credited with bringing the good news of Christianity to Ireland during the fifth century. He did extensive missionary work in Ireland as he ministered there for about thirty years.
4. The Shamrock Was A Tool Used To Teach About The Trinity
Legend has it, St. Patrick used the Shamrock to teach the Irish about Christianity. The three leaves were used as a metaphor to teach the Irish about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of the Holy Trinity.
5. Many Confuse The Shamrock With The Four Leaf Clover
While there are similarities between the two, the Shamrock has one less leaf than the four-leaf clover. You are considered to be lucky to find a four-leaf clover because they are very hard to find.
6. Green Was Not Always The Color Associated With St. Patrick’s Day
The color associated with St. Patrick’s Day has not always been green. Historically, it was a shade of blue called “St. Patrick Blue”, because this is the color worn by the saint . Over time green replaced blue. Perhaps the change was due to Ireland being known as “The Emerald Isle,” or maybe because its the color of the shamrock used to teach the Trinity.
7. The Irish Recognize St Patrick’s Day As A Big Deal!
In Ireland the National Holiday is highly celebrated. Banks, stores, and businesses close for the day in recognition. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, which is the date of St. Patrick’s death in 461 AD,
8. New York Was The Location Of The First St. Patrick’s Day Parade
New York City was the location of the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762. It is also still one of the largest! With the steady increase of Irish immigrants, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day became widespread.
9. Chicago Celebrates By Turning The River Green
Each year the “Windy City” celebrates by turning a section of the Chicago River green for several hours. The celebration usually draws a crowd of around 400,000 spectators. It is followed up with a parade that of course will include bagpipes!
10. There’s No Corn in Corned Beef
Many will have corned beef and cabbage as part of their St. Patrick’s Day feast. Rest assured, there is no corn in that beef. It is called corned beef due to the large grains of salt (referred to as corns) that were traditionally used to cure the beef.
With approximately 32.7 million US residents claiming Irish ancestry it is no wonder St. Patrick’s Day has become such a huge celebration both here as well as Ireland! How do you like to celebrate?