Millions of people around the globe don their best green attire on March 17 to celebrate ‘St. Patrick’s day’ or ‘Feast of Saint Patrick’, the traditional death of foremost saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Now, the day has become more of a festival, festival to celebrate Irish culture. Around 12% of Americans claim Irish ancestory and over 80 million people worldwide celebrate claim ancestral collection to the auld sold. The day is much more than wearing green or drinking alcohol. Here are some lesser known facts about the day-
1.Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was born in Wales or Scotland in 385 A.D. His parents were Roman citizens.
2.Patrick was kept as a slave about 6 years. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders who sold him away as slave. He there worked as sheep herder for several years, learnin about Irish culture. At the age of 22, he managed to escape and somehow went to monestry in England where he spent 12 years growing closer to God. According to his writing, he heard a voice in his dream, which he believed was of God, told him to leave Ireland.
3.In 2010, the Sydney Opera House went green to mark the 200 year anniversary of St. Patrick’s Day. In Sydney, St Patrick’s Day was first marked on 17 March 1810, when Lachlan Macquarie, the Governor of New South Wales, provided entertainment for Irish convict workers.
4.Though everyone wears green on this day, green was considered UNLUCKY! It was blue colour which was often considered symbolic for St. Patrick’s Day for many centuries. Irish presidential standard is still the colour blue.
5.Shamrock is a popular symbol of Ireland. Though, it is not a symbol of Ireland. Shamrock is a three leafed structure particularly depecting that the father, son and Holy Spirit could be separate entities yet one in the same. It is now, often regarded as a symbol of good luck.
6.Patrick’s Day was traditionally a dry holiday. So maybe we shouldn’t be drinking beer at all. Irish law between 1903 and 1970 made St. Patrick’s Day a religious holiday for the entire country, which meant pubs were closed for the day, according to Catholic Online. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is arguably one of the largest drinking holidays with an estimated $245 million spent on beer for March 17, according to Mental Floss.
7.Cold Weather Helped Saint Patrick’s Legend.According to legends, St. Patrick drove out snakes from Ireland. Modern scientists suggest that the job might not have been too hard – according to the fossil record, Ireland has never been home to any snakes. Through the Ice Age, Ireland was too cold to host any reptiles, and the surrounding seas have staved off serpentine invaders ever since. Modern scholars think the “snakes” Saint Patrick drove away were likely metaphorical. It might have referred to pagan religious beliefs.
8.Irish people take this day very seriously. After all, they have declared it a national holiday. t is believed that St Patrick died on March 17 in 461AD. It is a national holiday in Ireland, and on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean, which was founded by Irish refugees. It is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and a provincial holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland.
9.In the mid 1990s, the government of Ireland began a champaign to use this day to show case Irish traditions and culture to the world. They even formed a committee assigning the same task and called it ‘St. Patrick festival’ with the following aims-To offer a national festival that ranks amongst all of the greatest celebration in the worldTo create energy and excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity, grassroots involvement, and marketing activityTo provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations To project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal.
10.Astronauts in international space station have been celebrating the festivals in different ways. Chris Hadfield took photographs of Ireland from earth orbit, and a picture of himself wearing green clothing in the space station, and posted them online on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2013. He also posted online a recording of himself singing “Danny Boy” in space.