10 Things You Didn’t Know About St. Patrick’s Day

Holly McQuillan
Mar. 17, 2017 by Holly McQuillan

It’s that time of year again, where the Irish, the shamrocks and the celebrations come out for St. Patrick’s Day. Being the only 100% Irish person in the company, I thought I’d take it upon myself to do a small piece on Patrick’s Day, what it’s about and some interesting facts that come along with celebrating the day itself. So check them out, 10 things you may or may not have known about our national day:

1. St. Patrick was not Irish, he was from Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

This is an unusual fact that many people don’t realize. St. Patrick is not Irish, he is actually Welsh. He served as a missionary in Ireland, but later fled back to England.

2. The shamrock symbol is a teaching tool

St. Patrick was said to have used it to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. ☘

3. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City in 1760s

Regardless of it being a holiday based for Irish people, the parade started out in New York for the first time. How come? Many Irish emigrated to NY back in the 1760’s and this parade featured Irish soldiers serving in the English army.

4. Traditionally, every year, the Irish leader hands a crystal bowl full of shamrocks to the US President.

This was news to me! Every year, the Irish leader makes a visit to the White House to present a crystal bowl full of shamrocks to the current president. (See evidence below 😉)
Irish leader US president bowl shamrocks St. Patrick's Day

5. Irish people take St. Patrick’s Day pretty seriously

I don’t think you needed to read this blog to find this one out! But yes, it’s true – it’s a national holiday in Ireland and Northern Ireland on 17th March and it’s certainly a marked day on all of our calendars. The green, the guinness, and the parade all contribute to a great day!

6. It used to be a dry holiday.

Hard to believe, right? Based on its religious associations it was considered an alcohol-free holiday for most of the 20th Century. In 1970, the drinking traditions started. 🍻

7. St. Patrick was originally associated with the colour blue 💙 ✖️️ 💚 ✔️️-

My initial thought when I first heard this was, “No way!” In fact, it’s true, Saint Patrick’s blue was originally associated with Ireland being under British rule. Since the Irish Rebellion in 1798, the tradition of green has stood for our nationalism.

8. 12% of Americans claim to have Irish heritage 🇮🇪 + 🇺🇸

It’s always around this time of year that Irish-Americans come out from the wood work. Around 4.5 million Irish people emigrated to the US between 1840-1930 during and just after the Famine. So there’s a lot of people claiming partial Irish identity through their ancestors!

9. Corned beef and cabbage is a St. Patrick’s Day staple

In honor of their culture, the initial Irish immigrants in the U.S. splurged on flavorful corned beef, which was accompanied by potato and the cheapest vegetable, cabbage.  It didn’t take long for corned beef and cabbage to become associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe you should give it a try this year!

10. It’s Paddy’s Day, NOT Patty’s Day 😉

From what I can see, it’s widely known as Patty’s Day around the U.S., however….in Ireland, it’s Paddy’s Day. Irish people are so strong on this point, so much so that they’ve dedicated a website to explaining it here.. http://paddynotpatty.com/

 

So there you have it, some interesting facts you might not have known before. Wanna know why I’m bothering you with these silly Irish facts? Hear about my journey to SparkPost and why I came here from Ireland.

Have a great St. Patrick’s Day & may the luck of the Irish be with you! ☘️

 

-Holly
@hols

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