It’s St. Patrick’s day, and everyone is wearing their best green and proudly bearing shamrocks. So, here are some things you may or may not have known about St. Patrick’s day. Full disclosure: you may be surprised.
Originally, green wasn’t the colour for St. Patrick’s Day.
Saint Patrick’s colour was “Saint Patrick’s blue,” a light shade. The colour green only became associated with the big day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement on the flag in the late 18th century. Green was a better fit because it better represented the luscious Emerald Isle and country side of Ireland. The green is also and ode to the bright green uniforms worn by the Irish soldiers during the Irish Rebellion.
It’s actually St. Maewyn’s Day
Saint Patrick’s real name was Maewyn Succat. He changed his name after becoming a priest.
The shamrock represents more than just luck
Its spiritual significance lies in its representation of the Holy Trinity and it often symbolized as the cross. Saint Patrick used the shamrock to convert the Irish pagans. It was embedded on his breastplate and was also known as “the Lorica”.
Leprechauns are a single-gender species.
There is no such thing as a female leprechaun. How do they make babies, you ask? Leprechauns are said to be the rejected children of fairies. That doesn’t mean we can’t imagine the cute lady leprechauns, though. I guess Lucky Charms will never find love…
In in 20th century, St. Patrick’s Day was more so a religious observance and most bars and pubs were closed. In 1970, it became a national holiday and the beers followed.
The biggest celebrators of St. Patrick’s day are actually Americans
Even though St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish celebration, everyone is welcome to celebrate. Chicago colours its river green and New York has the largest bar tabs. As the Irish like to say “there are really only two kinds of people in the world: the Irish and those who would like to be Irish.” Maybe thats why 33.3 million Americans claim Irish ancestry, thats 7x the population of Ireland.
St. Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Roman living in Britain in charge of the colonies. As a boy at the age of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. He reunited in Britain with his family at the age of 20.
Know some other things about St. Patrick’s day to add to our list? Tell us in the comments or @RUStudentLife! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!