10 Unbelievable Things You Didn't Know About St. Patrick's Day
Also called the Feast of Patrick or the Day of Festival of Patrick, St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural-religious celebration held on March 17th. This is the day when Saint Patrick (385-461AD) the foremost patron of Ireland passed away. Below are a few things you don't know about the day you might want to know:
1. It was not a Christian holiday until the 17th century.
2. It is observed by most major Christian congregations including; Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, and Lutherans.
3. Lenten restrictions on drinking and eating are lifted on that day...yeah...you can drink yourself silly and your padre would not lift a finger.
4. The day is a public holiday in Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador, Republic of Ireland and British Overseas Territories of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated in countries such as the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.
5. The day is celebrated with parades, festivals and wearing the shamrocks (green attire). It celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and Irish culture in general.
6. Why do they wear green? Well, it is said that St. Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock plant to explain the holy trinity to the Irish Pagans.
7. No, the first St. Patrick's Day Parade was not held first by the Irish. It was first held in Boston in 1737, then in New York in 1762. It was held for the first time in Dublin in 1931.
8. It is March 1961 and Chicago River is green. Reason? The city's plumbers sought permission to pour 100 lbs. of vegetable dye in the river in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Today, only 25 lbs. is used.
9. Some say Saint Patrick banished snakes in Ireland. Not so. The weather there is too cold for the cold blooded reptiles. However, it helped bring religion to Ireland as the snakes were considered a dominant symbol of the pagan priests.
10. The word 'St. Patrick' was used as the Code word during the Evacuation Day, March 17, 1776. This was under the orders of General Washington for those wishing to pass through the Continental Armies.
I could go on and on...there certainly are many unbelievable facts about this day.