Top of the morning to you!

What’s long and green and only shows up once a year? Why it’s the St. Patrick’s Day parade of course. In Ireland and many places in the world, you may encounter a lot of green, fireworks, folklores and tales, Irish limericks, beer drinking, shamrocks, leprechauns, and a host of other displays to mark the occasion.

What is St Patrick’s Day?

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on the 17th of March. This now-global celebration of the Irish patron saint is to honour him for bringing the Christian faith to Ireland. It’s celebrated on March 17th because it marks the day that the patron saint died in 461 A.D.

However, it has become more than a religious celebration of Saint Patrick. Today, it is a green-themed international festival of all things Irish. Besides the sea of green that we see on St. Patrick’s Day, how much do you know about St Patrick’s Day?

Fun facts about Ireland and St Patrick’s Day

  1. St Patrick’s name was Maewyn Succat. It is believed he was born in Britain, not Ireland, at the end of the 4th century.
  2. It is said that St Patrick was kidnapped at age 16 and sold into slavery on Northern Island. He worked for six years before escaping to Britain and eventually returning to Ireland as a Christian missionary.
  3. Ireland is the second-largest island in Europe.
  4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe book series based on mythical Narnia were written by Irish-born author C.S. Lewis.
  5. Although green is popularly the colour of St Paddy’s Day, the patron saint was initially associated with blue. Green is considered an unlucky colour in Ireland, but this changed in the 19th century because of Ireland’s lush green landscape (Emerald Isle) and its link to Irish mythology and flag.
  6. Chicago, in the US, has a large Irish population and in celebrating St Patrick’s Day, uses 40 pounds of eco-friendly food dye to colour their Chicago River green. This unique way of celebrating started in 1962 and stays green for several hours.
  7. The Irish traditionally wear shamrocks (Ireland’s emblem/national flower) on their lapels. The three-leaved plant holds significant meaning to Christians and symbolises St Patrick’s Day and Ireland. The leaves represent faith, hope, love and the Holy Trinity.
  8. If you find a rare four-leaf clover, it is believed it will bring you “luck”.
  9. Ireland’s famous Curracloe Beach was the background for two Academy-award-winning films, Saving Private Ryan, and Brooklyn.

Get in on the festivities

You can join in on the St Paddy’s celebrations even if you’re not in Ireland. Here are some fun ways you can get in on the festivities.

  • Attend a St Patrick’s Day parade
  • Learn about Irish history
  • Grab a Guinness or an Irish whiskey
  • Host a green-themed party/wear green
  • Enrol in a few traditional Irish music courses like the guitar, the traditional Irish Sean-nós Singing course, the fiddle, or the bodhrán.
  • Cook up a traditional Irish meal of ham and cabbage. The famous corned beef and cabbage meal was a cheaper alternative for impoverished immigrants in the USA.

Tell a funny joke (or two).

Question: What do you call an Irish spider? Answer: Paddy long legs.

Question: When does a leprechaun cross the street? Answer: When it turns green.

Question: How can you tell if an Irishman is having a good time? Answer: He’s Dublin over with laughter.

There you have it. Now you are armed and informed, with a few jokes in the bag, to wow your friends and guests wherever you celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Who knows, you may find a pot of gold before the night is over.

Make a comment

Your email address will not be published.