As St. Patrick’s Day gets closer, many of us will be digging out our green or looking up corned beef recipes, but do we really know why we celebrate it? We have compiled a list of some fun and interesting facts about the holiday that will get you ready to party!
- What is St. Patrick’s Day? St. Patrick’s Day is an annual cultural and religious celebration held March 17. It is the celebration of St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints who brought Christianity to the country in the fifth century.
- The color of St. Patrick’s Day was originally blue. The earliest depictions of St. Patrick show him clothed in blue garments, not green. It’s thought that the color changed as a result of Ireland being known as “The Emerald Isle,” the green in the Irish flag- or because of the clover. During the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the clover became a symbol of nationalism and wearing green became regular practice.
- Was St. Patrick really Irish? Not much is known about the birthplace of St. Patrick, but it’s believed to be England. He was abducted and taken to Ireland at the age of 16, eventually escaped and preached Christianity to the Irish until his death. He is the primary Patron Saint of Ireland based on his actions, not birthplace.
- The shamrock was originally a teaching tool. St. Patrick is said to have used the three-leaved plant to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Later interpretations also have said the leaves represent hope, love and faith.The fourth leaf is said to symbolize luck, which is why we consider four leaf clovers to be lucky.
- It used to be a dry holiday. St. Patrick’s Day was considered a strictly religious holiday in the 20th century, which meant no open pubs or drinking. Before the drinking ban was lifted, there was only one place you could buy a drink on this day: The Royal Dublin Dog Show. It wasn’t until the 1970’s people began celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the way they do today- with beer.
- Chicago dyes the river green every year for the holiday. Every year since 1962, the Windy City has dyed the Chicago River green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. They pour a large amount of green dye that is made from a secret recipe plumbers originally developed to trace leaks in buildings. It is environmentally friendly and only lasts about 24-48 hours.
- It could have been Saint Maewyn’s Day. St. Patrick’s real name is actually Maewyn Succat. He changed his name to Patricius, or Patrick, which comes from the Latin term for “father figure” when he became a priest.
- An annual visit to the U.S. Every year,on or around St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish Prime Minister makes a trip the U.S. to meet with the president and to gift a crystal bowl of live shamrocks as a symbol of the close ties between the two countries.
Whether you are wearing green or cooking corned beef, let Artistic Direct help you with your St. Patrick’s Day needs. Check out the Lots of Irish Luck Designer Address Labels or the Gold Celtic Knot Round Address Labels. These are perfect if you are throwing a themed party or just want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style.