St. Patrick's Day is celebrated around the world. It's the biggest Irish event of the year where people Irish or not celebrates. But how much do you know about the biggest National Holiday of Ireland?
Here are some facts about St. Patrick's Day that you should know about.
Who is St. Patrick?
St. Patrick, Ireland's patron saint is actually from Wales, so he's not Irish at all! He was born from a wealthy Romano-British family in the late 4th century that lived in Scotland or Wales. St. Patrick is British! He converted Ireland's population to Christianity and he was known to have performed miracles during the 5th century.
According to the legend, St. Patrick's birth name was Maewyn Succat and later changed his name to Patricius after he became a priest.
Why Wear Blue not Green?
St. Patrick usually wears blue garments during his days that's why his color was later known as "St. Patrick's Blue". The color green was later associated with St. Patrick in the late 18th century after the color was linked to the independence movement.
Shamrocks are clovers, however, not all clovers are shamrocks. The three-leafed plant become associated with Saint Patrick's Day as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit to better explain Christianity to the Irish people.
The shamrock or clover leaf that used to be as a religious tool back then was now known as a sign of good luck. It’s now used as decorations during the St Patrick's Day and they can also be found on party hats, party decorations and used as designs on beer and wine glasses like magnetic wine charms.
Why Little Green Men?
Back then, leprechauns or known as the little green men were not the same from those mischievous little creatures with Irish culture and St. Patrick's Day. During the early days, they often wore red jackets, lace with gold and sported a selection of three-cornered hats found at the end of the rainbow with a pot of gold.
The legend says that if these funny little men found by humans, they will grant three wishes in exchange for freedom.
Why No Drinking?
Originally, St. Patrick's Day was considered as a religious holiday, so alcoholic drinks wasn't served in Irish pubs. But it changed when March 17 was declared as a public holiday in 1970. Since then, alcoholic drinks especially green beers became part of St. Patrick's Day.
Why Corned Beef and Cabbage?
Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional staple during St. Patrick's Day celebration. The dish isn't a national dish in Ireland, it only became a popular St. Patty's dish when Irish migrated to the United States. Since there's no salt pork in the U.S.A and bacon is the only substitute they could find and yet very expensive, so they used corned beef instead. That's the only dish that Irish immigrants would eat, because it reminded them of their home.
The truth is, corned beef and cabbage is a traditional Irish-American dish during St. Patrick's Day.
Why you should know the Lingo?
St. Patrick's Day feast is not complete without hearing a cry, “Erin go Bragh", it's a corruption of the Gaelic "Éirinn go Brách," which roughly means "Ireland Forever."
So before you drink green beer and dig into corned beef and cabbage on your St. Patrick's Day dinner, don't forget the history of St. Patrick and the facts of the traditions along with it. And don't forget to keep the tradition alive to honor what your Irish-American ancestors have started.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!