There are only two kinds of people in the world,
The Irish and those who wish they were.
– Irish Saying
Are you ready to celebrate your Irish heritage? You say you don’t have Irish heritage? Well on St. Patrick’s Day we all do! Here are a few fun facts to bring your Irish IQ up on this holiday.
Who was Saint Patrick?
Patrick was born to a wealthy family in Britain and the son of a Christian Deacon. At the age of 16 he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and was held captive for 6 years. During that time, he was a shepherd and relied on his religion to get him through his captivity. After 6 years, he escaped and returned to Britain where he spent 15 years in religious training. He eventually returned to Ireland to minister and convert Irish citizens to Christianity.
DYK: Saint Patrick was the creator of the Celtic Cross?
Why do we celebrate on March 17?
We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 because it is believed that is the day Patrick himself died at the age of 122. The date was officially enshrined as a holy day by the Vatican in 1631.
Why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?
There are many accounts regarding the use of the color green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Some state it is because of political reasons dating back to the Great Irish Rebellion of 1641. Others believe it dates all the way to the 19th Century when Irish Immigrants were settling in the United States and wore green while waving Irish flags to show pride for their homeland. As Ireland is the Emerald Isle and its flag has green in it, one might think that clearly defines the reasoning. But, our favorite explanation might be that we wear green to avoid being pinched by a leprechaun! So, whatever the reason, don’t forget your green!
Well, first and foremost let’s talk about the number of leaves – a shamrock has three and a four leaf clover has, well, you guessed it, four. The shamrock is said to have been used by Saint Patrick as a metaphor to explain the holy trinity – father, son & holy spirit. The four leaf clover is a representation of God’s grace and is considered lucky because it is difficult to find. The four leaves represent faith, hope, love and luck! So find your four leaf clover and consider yourself lucky!
Why corned beef & cabbage?
Did you know that corned beef & cabbage is an American Irish tradition that began in the 19th century? The traditional Irish feast would have consisted of boiled bacon. As Irish immigrants settled in the United States they were the poorest people in the city so looked for economical ways to celebrate. The brisket beef was the cheapest cut of beef, brine was a way to preserve the beef, and cabbage was the cheapest vegetable available. This was a special meal and hence made for a celebration!
What other Irish traditions does your family celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day? We’d love to hear about them!