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5 Facts about St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day

Five facts about St. Patrick’s Day 

 

 

What is St. Patrick’s Day? 

Did you know that St. Patrick’s Day is more popular than many other significant holiday events worldwide? It’s a day of celebration where people come together around the world to represent the Irish culture and what it means to be Irish. St. Patrick is known for bringing Christianity to Ireland.

Here are five interesting facts you may not know about St. Patrick’s Day. 

 

Fact one: Who was St. Patrick? 

St. Patrick is one of the most well-known figures in Irish history. He’s remembered as a Bishop that represented Christianity in Ireland and is recognised for bringing Christianity to the Celtic people. We know that he was born around 390 A.D. and lived on the island of Britain.

When he was sixteen years old, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. The raiders sold him to a Celtic priest named Miliucc, who had him looking after and herding farm animals for six years. St. Patrick protected his faith during those years and escaped from his enslaver and returned to his family in Britain. 

After returning to Britain, St Patrick spent the rest of his life converting people to Christianity and spreading his faith as a bishop. He travelled throughout Ireland and Wales, spreading the word of God and converting locals to Catholicism, establishing churches in places where they didn’t exist.  

Fact two: St Patrick’s Day shamrock, a national flower of Ireland 

The Irish plant is used to represent St Patrick’s day as it’s the day of the feast of St Patrick. The Irish believe the shamrock is used as a symbol to educate Christianity to nonbelievers. The three-leaf clover has been in use since St Patrick’s time, but it was not until the 19th century that Irish brands adopted this symbol as their logo. 

 

Fact three: The first St Patrick’s Day parade was held in America 

The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration was held in America in 1601. The British and Irish colonies did not celebrate this holiday until the late 17th century, and it was not until the early 18th century that people started to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. 

Over time, the celebration took place in many places throughout America, including Boston in 1739 and then New York City. Every year on March 17, Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green clothes and drinking quaff green beer (a plant flavoured beer). A dish that becomes the first St. Patrick’s Day meal is corned beef and cabbage made by the Americans, rather than traditional Irish food such as shepherd’s pie or fish and chips. 

Fact four: St Patrick didn’t wear green 

Do you know why people wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?

You may think it has something to do with the colour of the country’s grass, but in fact, there are many more interesting reasons behind the choice. 

On St Patrick’s Day, people worldwide wear green to celebrate the holiday. However, many people do not know that St. Patrick had initially been associated with blue and not green. In fact, the colour green became associated with St Patrick’s Day after the Irish Independence movement in the late 18th century, where they wore a shade of blue called ‘St Patrick’s Blue.’  

The Irish wear green because of Ireland’s nickname, ‘The Emerald Isle.’ Green represents the green stripe in the Irish flag. In the Irish tradition, green is associated with the Catholics of Ireland, and orange associates the Protestant population whilst white is a representation of peace between the two religions. 

Fact five: There were no snakes in Ireland 

Many believe St. Patrick banished snakes from Ireland, but the interesting fact is that there were no snakes in Ireland! Ireland never had snakes as it was too cold during the Ice Age. Ireland is surrounded by water but was covered in ice and would have been too cold for any reptiles.

St. Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to teach children about different holidays and why they’re important to them. Make the most of this holiday by teaching them these facts and try and get them to wear green too!  

<a href="https://blog.hope-education.co.uk/author/hasibur-rahman/" target="_self">Hasibur Rahman</a>

Hasibur Rahman

Hope Education writer

11 March 2022

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