It's going to be green all week with shamrocks, lucky 4-leaf clover, leprechauns and of course St. Patrick himself! St. Patrick's Day celebrations have already started in many communities and this week it seems that everyone is Irish! As a child, I attended Blessed Sacrament Catholic School and because many of the nun teachers were Irish, the classroom was always buzzing with St. Patrick's Day activities. We learned about St. Patrick "banishing the snakes" out of Ireland, we created iconic Irish crafts and sang traditional Irish songs that still remain with me today.
There are many surprisingly fun facts about St. Patrick's Day and Ireland that I've dug up via social media historical sites ...
St. Patrick could not have banished snakes from Ireland because snakes cannot survive in Ireland's climate.
St Patrick was born in Scotland (though some believe Wales). When he was a teenager, he was taken to Ireland by slavers.
St. Patrick's birth name was Maewyn Succat, but he changed his name to Patricius after becoming a priest.
Despite the fact that millions of people around the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the sad fact is that Patrick is a saint in name only because was never canonized by the Catholic Church.
The original color of St. Patrick was blue and not green!
The first st Patrick's Day parade took place in Boston 1737 while the first parade in Dublin didn't occur until 1931.
In 1903, pubs were closed to honor the St Patrick's Day religious holiday until 1970 when it was declared a national holiday and celebratory drinking resumed.
According to Irish legend, St Patrick used a three leaf shamrock in his teachings to represent the Holy Trinity and it still remains as an Irish Christian symbol.
Meanwhile, the four leaf clover is often mistakenly linked with St Patrick's Day. Irish folklore has it that the leaves of a four leaf clover are said to stand for faith, hope, love and luck. Some say that Ireland is home to more four leaf clovers than anywhere else on the planet, which gives credence to the phrase "Luck of the Irish". Odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000.
The harp is the national symbol of Ireland...not the shamrock!
Corned Beef and cabbage are considered a St Patrick's Day traditional meal. It's more likely the Irish served bacon or sausages on St Patrick's Day as beef was not plentiful and quite expensive for "everyday folks" to serve and enjoy.
Irish soda bread is a popular staple on St. Patrick's Day. A cross is cut into the dough before baking and is believed to ward off the devil.
There are more people with Irish ancestry in the United States than in Ireland!
According to traditional Irish lore, leprechauns are cobblers and shoemakers who earn every penny in their "pot of gold". According to legend, leprechauns are considered as ornery (sometimes downright nasty) little fairy "tricksters" who are loners which may be due to the fact that there are no female leprechauns among their population!
Now that I have all the facts, I still remain steadfastly resolved to continue creating little girl leprechaun characters since I'm an equal opportunity artist!
So in the meantime, let's all enjoy the festivities, parades and celebrate being GREEN on St. Patrick's Day...