St. Patrick’s Day Pot-O-Information

I will admit it, I have no idea about most of the traditions that are regarded with St. Patrick’s Day. However, since it is fast approaching, I have decided to do a little investigation!

First, lets get some of the basics out of the way…Who is St. Patrick and why is he famous?

-St. Patrick is generally regarded as the most well known patron saint of Ireland. What is a patron saint? I’m glad you asked! A patron saint is any saint that generally guards or defends a certain people, object, illness, nation, or idea. Okay, that makes more sense.

-St. Patrick was born in Scotland in the year 387 AD and (allegedly) died MARCH 17, 493…thus marking March 17th as St. Patrick’s Day. This would make him 105-106 years old!

-His father, Calpornius, was a deacon. His grandfather, Potitus, was a priest.

-Only two writing of St. Patrick have survived until today, “The Declaration”, which gives an account of Patrick’s life and mission, and “Letters to the Soldiers of Coroticus”.

-At the age of 16, Patrick was captured in Britain by Irish “marauders”, or treasure hunters. He was taken to Ireland for 6 years where he was forced into slavehood and became a herdsman…looking over the master’s sheep. It was in slavehood that he began praying daily and according to his writings, was the leading cause for the life he would lead as an apostle. Following a dream he had with a voice telling him he would soon escape, he left and traveled nearly 200 miles to catch a ship where he returned home, then in his early 20’s.

-He eventually returned to Ireland in his mid 40s and became an apostle, teaching the ways of Christianity and converting many of the chiefs to Christianity.

-He continued to preach until his death in 493 and has been allegedly buried in Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, Down County.

St. Patrick’s Day Themese and their Reasons:

Shamrock: The shamrock became part of St. Patrick’s day because St. Patrick used the 3 leaf clover design to help explain the trinity of Christianity. His followers quickly adopted the practice of wearing these to show their dedication. Most of us think of 4 leaf clovers represent good luck and can outnumber 3 leaf clovers 10,000 to 1! A little fun fact: the guiness book of world records sets the record for most number leaves on a clover at 21.

Leprechauns: From the information I could find, leprechauns don’t have anything to do with St. Patrick, the man, at all. However, the Irish have many stories of the leprechauns, which are believed to be Irish fairies. They are usually short (around 2′), are usually quite grumpy, and are shoemakers. Each leprechaun allegedly has a pot of gold that is hidden, but if you are to find a leprechaun, you can force them to tell you but DON’T take your eyes off of them at any point because they are sure to vanish.

-Wearing green: St. Patrick’s favorite color was blue, not in fact green. Actually, the Irish weren’t fond of green until the 19th century. Many Irish considered green to be the color of leprechauns and wearing green showed association with leprechauns. Green wasn’t associated with the holiday until the 19th century, and has become St. Patrick’s color because Ireland as a nation is lavished with green…grass, trees, leprechauns :), etc. Pinching people without green was created but young Irish children and the tradition continues today!

St. Patrick Day Events In America!

Chicago, IL holds one of the coolest St. Patrick Day Celebrations in the US by dying the Chicago River green immediately before their St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The “dyers” of the river pour in a seemingly orange dye into the river which immediately turns green thanks to the help of leprechauns. Using 40-50 lbs. of food coloring, the river stays green for just a few hours. Two parades take place in Chicago which combined draw in about 600,000+ people.

New York City, NY, has the largest parade in the US, which is expected to have 2 million+ attendees this year! In New York, this parade has been taking place every year since 1762! It is much different than most parades in the fact that there are no floats, cars, or corporate sponsors; just marching, bagpipes, and the largest St. Patrick Day celebration in the country!

Boston, MA-With a population that is nearly 16% of Irish background – no wonder it is the oldest celebrated St. Patrick’s Day Parade in America…which it started in 1737. Boston brings in more than 500,000 parade goers and has more Irish pubs than any other city in America.

White House-Starting in 2009, Michelle Obama made the decision to dye the north and south lawn fountains green. It marked the first time that it had ever been done before, but it should not be a surprise. Michelle and Barack are from…Chicago!

St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching so grab your St. Paddy’s Day decorations, your green shirts, and celebrate the one day of the year that we are all part Irish. We here at asks everyone to have a safe, exciting, and pinch-free day…even if it is a Wednesday! If you are in need of last-minute banner, you have hit the jackpot!

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