29 St. Patrick’s Day Facts
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Thursday 17th March 2022
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
But before the St Patrick’s Day Post we welcome the wonderful good news in a world full of bad news :
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori arrive in UK after being freed from Iran
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori have been reunited with their families in the UK after years of detention in Iran.
The British Iranian nationals were met by their loved ones at RAF Brize Norton in the early hours of Thursday.
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s seven-year-old daughter Gabriella rushed to hug her mother, who she had not seen in years,
And Mr Ashoori’s daughter Elika spoke of her happiness at finally seeing her father again.
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 43, and Mr Ashoori, 67, finally left Tehran on Wednesday after their release was secured following months of negotiations.
Richard Ratcliffe’s sister Rebecca said “a little girl has finally got her mummy and daddy back” alongside a picture of the trio.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the pair’s release had been uncertain until the last minute, but both Nazanin and Annoosheh were in good spirits.
It marked the end of an ordeal that saw Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe detained for six years after being accused in 2016 of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.
She was sentenced to a further year in prison in April last year and a one-year travel ban on charges of propaganda against the government.
Mr Ashoori, a retired civil engineer, was detained in 2017 on spying charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Both have consistently and vigorously denied the allegations.
Here are 29 facts about St. Patrick’s Day:
- St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish national holiday with banks, stores, and businesses closing for the day.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States was held in Boston (1737).
- Shamrocks are the national flower/emblem of Ireland.
- The colour of St. Patrick’s Day was originally blue.
- Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages on St. Patrick’s Day.
6.Legend says that each leaf of the clover has a meaning: Hope, Faith, Love and Luck.
- 1962 marked the first time Chicago dyed their river green for St Patrick’s Day.
- Guinness is one of the most popular drinks on St. Patrick’s Day.
- Shamrock shakes are also very popular (and tasty!):
- There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
- The real St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family.
- Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000.
- The world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in an Irish village. It lasts only 100 yards, between the village’s two pubs. and a bunch of websites claim that an Irish town Dribsy, Co Cork holds the shortest St Patrick’s day parade. But this is incorrect!
They did hold the shortest St Patrick’s day parade until 1999 when one of the bars closed, and they had nowhere to put everyone.
The parade was initially held between two pubs and was only about 90 meters long. They even had a claim in the Guinness book of records at one stage. Source: Irish Times
So, where is the shortest St Patrick’s day parade?
The official World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade route is 98 feet long. It is in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They have been running the event since 2003.
- To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Chicago dyes the river green for a few hours.
- St. Patrick never got canonized by a pope, making his saintly status somewhat questionable.
- The most popular alcoholic drink on St Patrick’s day is… Guinness
Haha, yes, I wasn’t surprised by this fact either but did you know that on St Patrick’s day, 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide. Will there be more in 2022? I think so!
Overall, $4.6 billion will be spent on St. Patrick’s Day.
- New York has the most concentrated Irish population; 12.9% of its residents claim Irish ancestry. So a big hello to any of you reading this in New York! Be sure to subscribe to my weekly dose of Irish here.
- St Patrick’s Day parades began in America, not Ireland
The very first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States was held in Boston (1737).
Boston has long staked claim to the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the American colonies. On March 17, 1737, more than two dozen Presbyterians who emigrated from the north of Ireland gathered to honour St. Patrick and form the Charitable Irish Society to assist distressed Irishmen in the city. – Thanks to History.com for that info.
- There are only two countries in the world that have a public holiday on St Patrick’s day
Ireland(including Northern Ireland) and Montserrat(a small island in the Caribbean)
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on Montserrat to commemorate the island’s Irish history and remember the 17th March 1768 slave rebellion. On this day, visitors to the island get stamped with an Irish shamrock. It wasn’t until 1971 that the rest of the world began to take notice of this particular bit of colonial history.
- It used to be a dry holiday! Yes, before millions of pints of Guinness were consumed, it was a non-drinking religious day. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day didn’t become an official Irish public holiday until 1903 with the introduction of the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act 1903. This act was introduced by Irish Member of Parliament James O’Mara, who was also responsible for the law that required the closing of pubs on March 17. Yes, the closing of pubs!
Until the 1970s, Irish law prohibited pubs opening on March 17 as a mark of respect for this religious day. Oh, how times have changed!
- The largest St Patrick’s day celebration in South America is in Argentina
St Patrick’s day celebrations
Argentina is one of the most surprising countries celebrating St Patrick’s Day.
Buenos Aires is home to the largest St Patrick’s Day celebration in South America. Several festivals and events occur across the city, including a party in the city centre. Who knew!?
- The city of Montreal has one of the longest-running and largest St Patrick’s Day parades in North America, occurring since 1824.
- St Patrick used a shamrock to teach the pagans about the Holy Trinity. The Shamrock is now the official flower of Ireland. It is associated with St Patrick. The harp is the official symbol of Ireland.
St. Patrick allegedly used the three-leaf clover to teach Christianity as he travelled around Ireland. It is possible that St Patrick knew the importance of the number 3 to the Celts and used the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. I.e. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Over 100 countries around the world celebrate St Patrick’s day!
Yes, as I mentioned earlier, it is just crazy how many countries worldwide celebrate this great day.
Probably the most surprising countries that celebrate St Patrick’s day around the world are:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Singapore – Where they also dye the river green!
And the list goes on and on!
Other countries include New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Turkey, West Indies(Montserrat), the United States, England, Belgium, South Africa, Germany, Canada, Spain, UAE and India.
- Over 600 stadiums, statues, museums, and towers will light up green on St Patrick’s day!
Including the Roman Colosseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Sydney Opera House. The hugely successful ‘Global Greening’ initiative will continue this year, with over 600 iconic landmark buildings around the world planned to be lit up green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
- Saint Patrick was born Maewyn Succat and took the name ‘Patricius’ in his writings.
In Old Irish, this name translates to Patraic, which is Patrick in English. Could you imagine celebrating St Maewyn Succat day?
Saint Patrick spent the rest of his life in Ireland. He preached the Gospel and built Churches across the country. He died March 17, 461, in Saul – the city in which he had built his first church.
- Over 5.5 million people visit New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral each year. And more than 450 churches are named St Patrick in the United States.
- This year, over 1 million people will participate in the St Patrick’s day festival in Dublin!
Keep in mind that it is over two days from the 15th – 17th March.
- St. Patrick is said to have been buried in Downpatrick, County Down, in Northern Ireland.
TOP TWELVE OF THE DAY
TOP 12 St. Patrick’s Day “Facts” That Are Actually False
How much do you know about the history of St. Patrick’s Day traditions? Many of these popular St. Patrick’s Day “facts” actually aren’t true.
- False fact: St. Patrick was Irish
This is a common St. Patrick’s Day fact that seems like a no-brainer. However, the patron saint of Ireland was actually born in Scotland in the late fourth century. When he was a teenager, Palladius (his real name) was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland. Six years later, he escaped and went back to Scotland, where he joined a monastery. As an adult, Palladius returned to Ireland as a missionary, where he lived for 40 years, dying in A.D. 461. He’s just one of many historical figures you’ve probably been picturing wrong.
- False fact: March 17th was St. Patrick’s birthday
A saint’s feast day marks the day that they died, not the day that they were born. St. Patrick’s Day 2022 marks the 1,561st anniversary of St. Patrick’s death.
- False fact: St. Patrick was a canonized saint
This St. Patrick’s Day fact seems like it would be true, and surprises people when they find out it’s not. The process of officially canonizing saints didn’t become common practice in the Church until long after St. Patrick’s death. During St. Patrick’s lifetime, “saint” was not an official title bestowed only on those whom the Pope deemed worthy. It was instead more of a general title that would be assigned to people who lived especially holy lives or performed acts of martyrdom.
- False fact: Green is the colour of St. Patrick’s Day
This one of the more popular St. Patrick’s Day facts that just isn’t true. Although green is the colour most associated with Ireland (it is the “Emerald Isle” after all), it’s not St. Patrick’s colour. Members of the Order of St. Patrick actually used blue as their symbolic colour. The shade: St. Patrick’s blue.
- False fact: St. Patrick used the shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity
Yes, the shamrock has three leaves—but there’s no historical evidence that St. Patrick/Palladius used it as a symbol to demonstrate Christianity. In fact, it’s unlikely he introduced Christianity to the Emerald Isle at all, a feat with which he is often attributed. In the fifth century AD, the Pope sent Palladius to Ireland with the mission of preaching to “the Irish believing in Christ.” So he didn’t introduce Christianity to Ireland…he really just helped it along. As for the shamrock, Palladius may well have used it to represent the Holy Trinity, but the shamrock already had symbolic significance in pagan traditions as well. Green was an important colour to paganism because it represented rebirth, and the number three was as much a staple of paganism as it is of Christianity. Many pagan religions have three primary gods.
- False fact: It’s easy to find a four-leaf clover
You might need to find an alternative for good luck. The odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000. Contrary to popular belief, it’s more difficult than you think to find a four-leaf clover.
- False fact: St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally a party-hearty holiday.
The truth lies right there in the name: Saint Patrick’s Day. It’s a feast day for a Catholic saint, best known for converting native Irish people to Christianity. Until the 1700s, it was a day in the Catholic calendar in observance of a saint important to and popular in Ireland…and not much anywhere else. And even in Ireland, Catholics honoured St. Patrick with prayer and quiet reflection. St. Patrick’s Day, as we know it today, started in America in the late 19th and early 20th century, when the large numbers of newly arrived Irish immigrants began using the day as a way to celebrate their Irish heritage
- False fact: Many of today’s St. Patrick’s Day traditions started in Ireland
A St. Patrick’s Day fact people often get wrong is that many of this day’s traditions started in Ireland. Many St. Paddy’s Day traditions that we may think of as traditionally Irish actually originated in the United States. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade, for instance, occurred in New York City in 1782, and it became an annual event in 1848. Meanwhile, it wasn’t until 1931 that Ireland held an official St. Patrick’s Day parade. And as for alcohol consumption, it was not a staple of the holiday in Ireland by any means. In fact, until the 1960s, pubs in Ireland were closed on March 17, in observance of the religious holiday. A little different from America’s celebrations.
- False fact: Eating corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish tradition
Up until the 20th century, pork was much cheaper to raise, and of course eat, for the average family in Ireland. Corned beef is historically unheard of in Ireland (although salt-cured beef was an occasional meal). Like the holiday’s modern celebration, eating corned beef started in the late 19th century. Irish immigrants bought corned beef from Jewish delis in New York City instead of the more common (in Ireland) St. Patrick’s Day meat of cured pork (ham, bacon).
- False fact: St. Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland
This St. Patrick’s Day fact stems from stories. Legend has it that St. Patrick gave a rousing sermon that sent all of Ireland’s snakes slithering off into the ocean. If only it were that easy. The Emerald Isle owes its lack of serpents not to St. Patrick but to the Ice Age and geography. The shifting glaciers of the last Ice Age left Ireland surrounded by water, making it impossible for snakes to reach it. Before then, the land that would become Ireland was far too cold for the cold-blooded creatures to survive. You can’t banish snakes from somewhere where there were no snakes to begin with.
- False fact: Leprechauns are directly related to St. Patrick’s Day
More people don red beards and green hats on St. Patrick’s Day than on any other day of the year, and yet leprechauns and St. Patrick’s Day really aren’t related, aside from the fact that they’re both Irish. Leprechauns didn’t become a staple of Irish literature until many years after St. Patrick’s famed journey through Ireland.
- False fact: There are female leprechauns
Even though many decorations around St. Patrick’s Day may show female leprechauns, traditional leprechauns are only male. In the “Fairy Legends” book published in 1825, the text read: “Since that time leprechauns seem to be entirely male and solitary.” Next, read on for 21 more St. Patrick’s Day facts you never knew—true ones this time!
REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
– Nicolas Chamfort
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” —Maya Angelou.
Happiness is…celebrating St Patrick’s Day.
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
What crime do blacksmiths most commonly get charged with? Forgery.
Love is…good for the heart.
A time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in New York…A time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin.
One of those glorious days when all National Front Pages tell the same happy story!
©2022 Phil M Robinson