10 Facts about St. Patrick’s Day

Stephen ShorttAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, Culture, Exploring Dublin, Exploring Ireland, The Irish And...

We love St. Patrick’s Day here in Alpha!

Everyone celebrates being Irish on this day, no matter where you are on the planet.

Alpha Students on St Patrick's Day

Alpha Students on St Patrick’s Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With St. Patrick’s Day celebrated across the world, did you ever wonder how much you actually know about Ireland’s biggest national holiday?

Here’s our ten top facts:

1. St. Patrick was not Irish. He was Welsh.

St Patrick was born in Wales  but is famous for bringing  Christianity to Ireland.

St Patrick was born in Wales
but is famous for bringing
Christianity to Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Ireland’s symbol is a shamrock.

St Patrick used it as a teaching tool. St. Patrick used the three-leaved plant to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to the pagan Irish.

Alpha Students getting into the spirit of St.Patrick's Day

Alpha Students getting into the spirit of St.Patrick’s Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. For many years, blue was the colour associated with St. Patrick.

Green was considered unlucky. St. Patrick’s blue was considered symbolic of Ireland for many centuries and the Irish Presidential Standard is still blue.

Ireland's Presidential Standard

Ireland’s Presidential Standard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. 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. (England sent A LOT of Irish people to Australia)

Sydney Opera House. image © theguardian.com

Sydney Opera House.
image © theguardian.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York in 1766.

President JFK's wife Jackie watching the parade. President John F Kennedy was Irish-American. © nydailynews.com

President JFK’s wife Jackie watching the parade. President John F Kennedy was Irish-American.
© nydailynews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. For many years, Dripsey in County Cork had the world’s shortest parade.

It was just 23.4 metres (77 feet) between two pubs – The Weigh Inn and The Lee Valley.

Currently, the town of Hot Springs, Arkansas claims to have the shortest parade – a 30-metre (98 feet) route on Bridge Street. Recent participants included the Irish Elvises and the San Diego Chicken.

Dripsey Co.Cork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. In Chicago every year, the Plumbers Local 110 union dyes the river “Kelly” green.

The dye lasts for about five hours.

Chicago Celebrates St. Patricks Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Irish flee the country.

On 17th March in Ireland you’ll find many public figures, musicians and dancers have travelled abroad to work for the day. Many politicians also travel to promote Ireland and Irish business.

St-Patrick-Parade-New-York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Traditionally, every year, the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) hands a crystal bowl of shamrocks over to the US President.

The shamrock that was grown in Kerry is immediately destroyed by the Secret Service after the exchange.

President Barack Obama and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

President Barack Obama and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Guinness sales soar on St. Patrick’s Day.

Recent figures show that 5.5 million pints of the black stuff are downed around the world every day.

On St. Patrick’s Day that figure is doubled.

A lovely pint of the black stuff

A lovely pint of the black stuff