Every holiday has its own significant features and color. And we are here about to celebrate the green holiday - aka St Patrick’s Day, one of the most anticipated international holidays. Even though it is a well-known holiday, many of us are still confused as to why we celebrate this holiday and what the unpopular St Patrick’s Day facts we still don’t know yet.
At the beginning of the 17th century, St. Patrick’s Day was officially a Christian religious, St Patrick's Day. March 17 is traditionally acknowledged as the day St.Patrick passed away to honor him and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.
Over the centuries, wearing green has become the most popular tradition to celebrate the holidays. But there's still so much more history for you to explore.
1. The Original Color of St. Patrick’s Day Was Originally Blue
Despite the fact that today we associate Ireland and St.Patrick with the color green, he was originally recognized in blue gowns. Even the color that today we know as azure blue was formerly named St.Patrick blue. That shade remains the official heraldic color of Ireland.
However, during the Irish independence movement, the green clover was a symbol of nationalism, popularizing the practice of wearing green since then for the holiday.
2. The First St. Patrick’s Day Parade Was Held in America
Even Ireland had observed St.Patrick since the 1600s, the tradition of the St. Patrick’s Day parade actually began in America and predated the United States establishment. According to records, the first St.Patrick’s Day parade was celebrated on March 17, 1601, in a Spanish colony which is now St. Augustine, Florida.
It took more than a century to spread the parade celebration to the rest of the world, and until 1931, Dublin had their first St. Patrick’s Day parade.
2020 and 2021 also marked the first time parades were canceled nationwide after decades, due to the spread of Covid-19.
3. The Shamrock Metaphor
St. Patrick used the shamrock in his religious teachings as a metaphor for the holy trinity depicting the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In fact, the shamrock was a sacred plant in Ireland. It’s believed that the three leaves of the shamrock symbolize faith, hope, and love. Also, a four-leaf clover is widely known as a sign of good luck since it is rare and harder to find compared to the abundance of three leaves.
4. No Drinking Allowed
Drinking beer is one of the most significant and anticipated parts of celebrating March 17 in the U.S and Canada. Ironically, the Irish government decided to close pubs on St. Patrick’s Day due to its national religious holiday.
This is probably shocking news to American college students since it’s the only day they are allowed to bring and drink beer on campus without any resistance.
5. Green River (on purpose)
Every March, Chicago residents, and tourists are excited to see the 156-mile Chicago River dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Back in 1962, the mayor requested the Chicago Plumbers Union to pour over a hundred green vegetable dyes into the river. Now the powder is changed to environmentally friendly materials, helps turn the water to emerald green, and lasts for days.
6. It’s Celebrated Outer Space As Well
To emphasize the popularity of this holiday, several astronauts celebrated the holiday even in a lower orbit. NASA’s International Space Station shared films of astronaut Chris Hadfield singing “Danny Boy '' on March 17, 2013, or in 2011, Candy Coleman played the flute to observe the occasion right in the satellite.
7. St. Patrick Was Britain
The fact that the patron saint of Ireland was born in Scotland in the late 4th century is no longer new to some people. Yet many people celebrate the holiday without realizing that he was not originally Irish. He was kidnapped in his teenage years and sold as an enslaved person in Ireland. Six years later, he came back to Scotland. Later on, in his adulthood, he decided to go back to Ireland to start his religious mission.