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St. Patrick’s Day: 10 Fascinating Facts About This Holiday

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St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” Adrienne Cook

St. Patrick's Day:  10 Fascinating Facts About This Holiday

St. Patrick’s Day: 10 Fascinating Facts – The longest Parade is in NY

St. Patrick's Day:  10 Fascinating Facts About This Holiday

St. Patrick’s Day: 10 Fascinating Facts – The shamrock is a reminder of the Holy Trinity

1.”Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”) is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated annually on 17 March, the death date of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461).”
2.”St. Patrick’s Day marks the Roman Catholic feast day for Ireland’s patron saint, who died in the 5th century. St. Patrick (Patricius in Latin) was not born in Ireland, but in Britain.”
3.”St. Patrick was kidnapped at 16 and brought to Ireland. He was sold as a slave in the county of Antrim and served in bondage for six years until he escaped to Gaul, in present-day France. He later returned to his parents’ home in Britain, where he had a vision that he would preach to the Irish. After 14 years of study, Patrick returned to Ireland, where he built churches and spread the Christian faith for some 30 years.”
4. “St. Patrick’s Day revelers wear a shamrock. Trifolium dubium, the wild-growing, three-leaf clover that some botanists consider the official shamrock, is an annual plant that germinates in the spring. According to St. Patrick’s Day lore, Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Christian holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! One of the joys of this day of revelry and parades is how much fun and creativity goes into celebrating this day. The parades showcase the best of Ireland and it’s immigrant population around the world, and people gather to toast to Saint Paddy and drink a Guinness stout in his memory. Of course, all the celebratory zeal means the parades linger on for quite a while and many don’t want it to end. In this post, the block quotes, above and below,  share ten insightful facts about this special day. Take a moment to read them.

“May you live to be a hundred years, With one extra year to repent.” Irish Blessing

St. Patrick's Day:  10 Fascinating Facts About This Holiday

St. Patrick’s Day: 10 Fascinating Facts – The Dublin parade is

5.One of the best known myths about this popular saint is that Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland into the Irish Sea, where the serpents drowned. What about Leprechauns? They have nothing to do with this day and until the 19thC, these folklore characters wore red instead of green clothing.
6.”Colonial New York City hosted the first official St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762, when Irish immigrants in the British colonial army marched down city streets. Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is little more than 75 years old.”
7.”In 1903, Saint Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland. Until the 1970s, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was a minor religious holiday. A priest would acknowledge the feast day, and families would celebrate with a big meal, but that was about it.” Some say that St. Patrick’s Day was invented in America by Irish-Americans and the U.S. tradition of St. Patrick’s Day parades, packed pubs, and green has become popular in Ireland.

One special joy I have about this day is seeing the sea of green passing by as the parade winds it’s way around the city. It is always fascinating to see the different groups of Irish Immigrants, celebrities, political and social entities  join in the camaraderie of the day, as the official paraders try to outpace each other in their fascinating garb and entertainment. You are always entertained and I’d add that there is never a dull moment during the parade. Above are more facts to chew on and there is more below.

More Below!

“May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.”
–Irish Blessing

St. Patrick's Day:  10 Fascinating Facts About This Holiday

St. Patrick’s Day: 10 Fascinating Facts – Chicago River is dyed green

8.In the United States, it’s customary to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. While the color green has been associated with Ireland since at least the 1640s, the color was long considered to be unlucky in some parts of Ireland. In the US, the green color took over in many ways; Since 1962, Chicago has been famous for dyeing the Chicago River green on St. Patrick’s Day.
9.”In the mid-1990s the government of the Republic of Ireland began a campaign to use Saint Patrick’s Day to showcase Ireland and its culture”; with a festival as the end goal. The first Saint Patrick’s Festival was held on 17 March 1996. Every St. Patrick’s Day, revelers raise a pint of stout and wish their companions “Slainté!”—the Irish word, pronounced SLAN-cha, for “health.”  While drinking is a part of the festivities,  it wasn’t until the 1970s when people could drink in pubs on this day. Before, Pubs in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick’s Day because it’s both a cultural and a national religious holiday.
10. New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the longest running civilian parade in the world, followed by Montreal and Dublin.  The shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world is in Dripsey, Cork. It lasts 100 yards which is the distance between the village’s two pubs.

As they say, it helps to go beyond the blarney for our facts, and the fascinating information above help us get there. Have you ever attended the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade? What has been your experience? I know that for those of us who join in the celebration, it is an occasion to let down our hair and enjoy the good food, drinks, and songs shared. So to everyone, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and Slainté! (To your health).

This post was only partly inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post:Daily Prompt: Linger. Tell us about times in which you linger — when you don’t want an event, or a day to end. What is it you love about these times? Why do you wish you could linger forever?

Positive Motivation Tip: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today and all that you are; unique, unusual, unabashed, unadulterated, unapologetic YOU!

Saint Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day Fast Facts: Beyond the Blarney
St. Patrick’s Day 2012: Facts, Myths, and Traditions
St. Patrick’s Day 2014: Facts, Myths, and Traditions

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos  via Wikipedia, National Geographic,

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

57 Comments leave one →
  1. 17/03/2014 3:01 pm

    Your chances of finding a 4 leaf clover are 1 in 10,000. I’ve found two in my life!

  2. 17/03/2014 3:02 pm

    I was always kind of meh about St. Patrick’s Day. But I love looking at it as the beginning of spring!

  3. 17/03/2014 3:05 pm

    The Irish blessings are beautiful. I didn’t know these facts before!

  4. Mandy @householdhero permalink
    17/03/2014 3:07 pm

    I had no idea there was a parade in NY today much less the longest running one! Interesting post as always!

  5. Liz (@blueviolet) permalink
    17/03/2014 3:15 pm

    The times I’m with my children are the ones in which I want to linger. I treasure every moment with them.

    • 17/03/2014 3:22 pm

      Wonderful and most of us do too. If you’ve been to a St. Paddy’s Day Parade, the energy and joyfulness of the occasion is worth lingering a while to take it all in.

  6. 17/03/2014 3:20 pm

    Thank you for sharing the history of St. Patricks Day. I did not know alot of this information!

  7. 17/03/2014 3:26 pm

    Wow, I didn’t know a lot of that! I love that leprechauns originally wore red!

  8. Melissa @sippycupmom permalink
    17/03/2014 3:35 pm

    This is so interesting! I always wonder how things come about – St. Patrick and leprechauns are so different!

  9. 17/03/2014 3:41 pm

    I am impressed that they turned the water green for the holiday.

  10. Brett Martin (@brettbmartin) permalink
    17/03/2014 3:56 pm

    i love the irish blessings. very meaningful!! happy st patty’s day

  11. 17/03/2014 4:03 pm

    Thanks for all the great information!

  12. 17/03/2014 4:16 pm

    I have never attended a parade and I really enjoyed all of your facts !

  13. 17/03/2014 4:55 pm

    I knew there was a parade in NY today, but I didn’t know it was the longest running one. I just know that the mayor didn’t march this year.

  14. aimee fauci permalink
    17/03/2014 5:30 pm

    I would love to be in Ireland during St Patty’s Week.. I hear they celebrate for four days?

  15. Toni Patton permalink
    17/03/2014 5:55 pm

    Those are interesting facts. I have never been to a st. patricks day parade, I would like to though.

  16. Chrysa Duran (@ThriftyJinxy) permalink
    17/03/2014 6:42 pm

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m watching a St. Paddy’s day show on TV right now – that’s my celebration.

  17. karenssunnysoirees permalink
    17/03/2014 6:59 pm

    Very cool facts! I must admit that I really know nothing about the actual holiday. Well, now I do! I’ve been to a couple of parades but not in the last few years.

  18. karenssoiree permalink
    17/03/2014 7:00 pm

    Very interesting facts! I admit I know nothing about the actual holiday. Well, now I do!

  19. 17/03/2014 7:13 pm

    Three years ago, while visiting with friends, I found several four leaf clovers over one weekend. It was so crazy (and hopefully very, very lucky.)

  20. 17/03/2014 7:59 pm

    I didn’t know all these facts about St. Patrick’s Day. Thanks for sharing!

  21. 17/03/2014 8:05 pm

    I wished my honeymoon could last forever. And Christmas. Anytime you can take a break from the routine of life is a moment I wish could linger.

  22. 17/03/2014 8:40 pm

    I had no idea that the Chicago River is dyed green for the holiday! Interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day – this was the first year we really celebrated, as the day is also my husband’s birthday.

  23. Jessica P permalink
    17/03/2014 8:41 pm

    The only St Patty’s Day celebration I have ever attended was a huge block party that happens each year in my area. Everyone dresses up and drinks green colored beer. I love learning about holidays in depth.

  24. Pauline Cabrera permalink
    17/03/2014 11:15 pm

    I made some research myself about St. Patrick’s Day. I was kind of curious how this holiday started so I decided to snoop around. Well, I found out that Patrick is not Irish, but Scottish. In addition to this, I found out that Patrick is really not a catholic monk as most people think. He is actually a part of a Celtic Church who oppose catholic rule. He did not follow much of traditions enacted by the Catholic Church and he even opposes to the trinity doctrine. Anyway, great post! 🙂

  25. 17/03/2014 11:27 pm

    So much has changed since they allowed pubs to open all day.

  26. zoebsimplelifestrategies permalink
    18/03/2014 2:04 am

    “May you always walk in sunshine” – I love this line 🙂 Such a beautiful thing to wish for someone!

  27. 18/03/2014 2:55 am

    These are such interesting facts! I hope you had a fun St. Patrick’s Day.

  28. 18/03/2014 3:57 am

    I never knew all the details about St Patrick’s Day. I had a discussion with my daughter yesterday about it being a holiday or not….guess this clears it up!

  29. jennieaves permalink
    18/03/2014 5:22 am

    That is very cool! I had no idea that the clover respresented the Holy Trinity. I have a friend who lives in Chicago and she just posted a photo of the green river! Very cool to look at! I’d love to see it in person.

  30. 18/03/2014 5:32 am

    These are awesome. I hardly knew any of these facts!

  31. mommye permalink
    18/03/2014 6:03 am

    Thanks for sharing these fun St Pattys Day facts. I love the little leprechaun my son brought home from school.

  32. fabmomblog permalink
    18/03/2014 6:26 am

    I’m Catholic and we use to celebrate all the Saints Days. I can’t remember them all now but we did. It was fun to do. We’d have big family meals and invite friends over. This year, I let St. Patty’s day sneek by. But I did give my 6-year old a fun themed manicure and sent her to school in a cute themed top. Great post.

  33. Rachée Fagg (@sayitrahshay) permalink
    18/03/2014 6:28 am

    I never knew any of these and my Irish boyfriend was surprised as well. I have always enjoyed the blessings; they are quite lovely.

  34. 18/03/2014 6:46 am

    Wow there were a lot of facts here that I didn’t know! Especially the one about St. Patrick being kidnapped when he was 6. You found some great facts 🙂

  35. Ashley M permalink
    18/03/2014 7:17 am

    Learn something new ever day! I’m in love with Irish blessings and use them often in wedding ceremonies I minister.

  36. 18/03/2014 8:16 am

    We attended our first parade this past weekend at a small town in our county. It was really cute. The green river would be a bit weird to see.

  37. lisamc7 permalink
    18/03/2014 9:18 am

    Thanks for sharing! We often get all caught up in the fun and forget the meaning.

  38. Dina Demarest (@dinade) permalink
    18/03/2014 9:53 am

    I’ve never attended a St. Pattys day event. The parade looks fun~we don’t even have one of those.

  39. Krissy Higgins (@Krissy_r) permalink
    18/03/2014 10:32 am

    These are some interesting facts – especially #5. I figured leprechauns were always a part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration!

  40. 18/03/2014 1:45 pm

    Those are interesting facts. It’s fun to learn things about a holiday you’ve been celebrating for so long but didn’t know much about!

  41. 18/03/2014 5:46 pm

    Can you believe I’ve never been to a St. Patty’s Day parade!? I think it’d be fun to attend though! 🙂

  42. Jennifer Bullock {MommyBKnowsBest} permalink
    18/03/2014 7:23 pm

    Love the facts, we watched a Veggie Tales movie that also told us of St. Patrick’s life story. Cool when you can learn the real basis of some super commercialized holidays.

  43. 18/03/2014 8:14 pm

    These were so interesting to read! I had no idea he was a slave.

  44. Lauren (Lolo) (@MyBaybah) permalink
    18/03/2014 10:07 pm

    I love that Irish Blessing. Thanks for sharing!

  45. 19/03/2014 12:26 pm

    thanks so much for all this info about this day…it must be wonderful to be somewhere where it is so celebrated

  46. Fashionable Librarian permalink
    17/03/2016 9:30 pm

    This is a lot of very good information right here. Thanks for sharing

  47. Kiwi permalink
    22/03/2016 11:47 am

    Even more great information on this holiday! Usually go to River St. in Savannah and they dye the fountain.


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