Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. Like many people, I’m planning on wearing green and drinking beer and enjoying the day. I love holidays, and while St. Patrick’s Day is not an official U.S. holiday, I love it nonetheless.
I realized that despite years of wearing green and drinking Baileys, I know very little about the origin of this holiday, and even less about the wonderful honoree, Saint Patrick. A quick google search revealed quite a bit of interesting historical info.
For those interested, below are some fun historical facts I came across, a “St. Patrick’s Day For Dummies,” if you will:
- Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious and cultural holiday to commemorate Saint Patrick, the most renowned (and recognizable) patron saint of Ireland.
- It is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, March 17th.
- Saint Patrick is actually Welsh! When Patrick was a mere 16 years old, he was kidnapped from Wales by Irish raiders, taken to Ireland, and forced to work as a slave.
- He escaped enslavement after six years, went back to Wales, and then decided to enter the Church. Little is known about why he returned to Ireland, but eventually he did.
- According to Irish folklore, he would use the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to people.
- During a 40 day fast on top of a hill, he was assailed by snakes! Legends say that he chased them into the sea, and he is now credited for banishing snakes from Ireland.
- The original color associated with St. Patrick was not green, but blue! Blue! Can you imagine?
- In 1903, Saint Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland.
Wherever your celebrations take you tomorrow, please make a toast to the dear St. Patrick, and perhaps thank him for not only being the reason behind such a fun holiday, but for banishing snakes as well.
And if you don’t have anything green to wear, that’s okay. Wear blue and impress everyone with your new knowledge. Blue looks better on me, anyway.
Cheers to Saint Patrick!