5 Things You Didn't Know About Saint Patrick's Day

On March 17, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated around the world. The holiday, which falls on the anniversary of St. Patrick's death, is accompanied by parades, drinking beer, and eating corned beef and cabbage. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about the world’s favorite Irish holiday...

 
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Blue Was the Color Originally Associated With St. Patrick The color blue was chosen to represent the Order of St. Patrick, which was an order of knighthood. Green was already in use, representing the Order of the Thistle. During the Irish Rebellion in 1798, people started wearing a clover on their lapels, and the green color eventually became associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick Wasn’t Irish and His Original Name Wasn't Patrick St. Patrick, who was born in the late 4th century, had parents that were Roman and lived in either Wales or Scotland. But he was kidnapped as a teen by Irish raiders and was taken to Ireland. Eventually, he escaped back to Britain after having converted to Christianity, but he later returned to Ireland to preach and convert the Irish pagans. His real name, before it was changed when he became a priest, was Maewyn Succat.

 
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The Pubs in Ireland Used to Be Closed on St. Patrick’s Day St. Patrick’s Day is famous for the wearing of the green and drinking beer or stout, depending on where celebrants live. However, St. Patrick’s Day was strictly religious in Ireland during a large part of the 20th century, and pubs there were actually closed on March 17. It became a national holiday in Ireland in 1970, and the pubs opened to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by hoisting a glass in honor of the patron saint of Ireland. .

Saint Patrick is Not an Official Saint St. Patrick’s Day falls on the anniversary of Patrick’s death on March 17 in the fifth century. His followers in Ireland began to celebrate his feast day on that day during the ninth and tenth centuries, even though he was never formally canonized by a pope.

New York City’s parade is The Oldest in America St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated with a parade since long before the American Revolution. The first known instance happened in Boston in 1762 when Irish soldiers, who were in the English military, marched in a parade in New York City. Now, about 250,000 people participate in the annual parade, but floats, cars and other additions are still not permitted.