St. Patrick’s Day is a day when people think about the Irish and wearing green clothing or even eating green colored foods or drinking green beer, but what else is interesting about St. Patrick’s Day?
Here are the top 5 intriguing facts about St. Patrick’s Day:
5. First Parade was in New York City
Every St. Patrick’s Day, many places hold a special parade to honor the day. The very first parade was held March 17, 1762, and it occurred in New York City. It featured Irish soldiers marching in the streets and special music connected to the heritage of Ireland. Many New York Irish Aid societies joined in to have parades that featured the playing of drums and bagpipes. Then, in 1848 these all combined together to form one large New York St. Patrick’s Day parade. Now it is held every year and millions of people come to watch the thousands of participants.
Many people have heard the famous story that claims that St. Patrick got rid of all the snakes in Ireland and drowned them in the sea. To be honest, this is just an old wives’ tale and isn’t true at all. The truth is that the use of snakes is meant to stand for the druid and the pagan religions because St. Patrick was partly responsible for helping to make Christianity more popular than these previously practiced religions in Ireland.
3. Prohibition in Ireland
Most people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some green beer these days, but in reality there wasn’t always beer involved in the celebrations in Ireland in the past. In fact, it was actually a religious holiday in 1903 and that meant the pubs had to stay closed. This law lasted until the year 1970 and then it was no longer considered to be a religious holiday and then was considered to be a national holiday, which meant that the pubs could once again sell alcohol, including beer.
2. Green or Blue
Many people in the U.S. wear green as the traditional color of St. Patrick’s Day. Plus, the Chicago River in Illinois in the U.S. is always colored green for St. Patrick’s Day. But in truth, wearing green in Ireland is unlucky because it was the color of an old Irish flag when the country was not a free country. Plus, fairies often wear green in Ireland and they are known to kidnap children, especially if the kids are wearing green.
Blue is actually a more popular color in Ireland. This is because the Irish military wore blue on their uniforms, as well as the Irish flag that had a blue background and a gold harp on it that stood for Henry VIII, who was declared as the King of Ireland.
1. St. Patrick Wasn’t From Ireland
Even though St. Patrick is who St. Patrick’s Day is named for, he wasn’t even from Ireland. Instead, he came from a British family, but was captured and became a prisoner when he was 16 and Irish raiders attacked his home. Later, he became a shepherd and escaped from his capturers. He became a missionary after that and started converting the Irish people into Christianity. He was connected with St. Patrick’s Day symbols like shamrocks because he mixed these familiar icons with Christian icons to help transform the people into the Christian religion.