By Rickey Miller
Before you get drunk and make questionable decisions, there are a few interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day that you should probably know. Did you know that St. Patrick’s real name is actually Maewyn? Cool right? Try going into the bar and screaming “Happy St. Maewyn’s Day!”
1. St. Patrick Was A Brit
And all this time you’ve been thinking he was Irish. Patricius was born to Roman parents in Great Britain (either Scotland or Whales). St. Patrick was actually captured from his Great Britain home when he was 16 and taken as a slave to Ireland. So in honor of Scotland – where St. Patrick may or may not have been born — take a shot of scotch.
2. Sober and Dry
For most of the 20th century, especially in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was regarded as highly religious day, celebrating Ireland’s introduction to Christianity by – you guessed it – St. Patrick. As far as the alcohol, St. Patrick’s Day was actually a dry holiday in Ireland until 1970. Up until 1970, the holiday was observed as a religious holiday, meaning all pubs were closed.
3. But Keep Drinking Like A Fish, It’s Good For The Economy
Every beer corporation is excited for the holiday considering celebrators will spend nearly $250 million on beer for St. Patrick’s Day — talk about running up a bar tab! Among those corporations is the Irish beer, Guinness, who still leads on the scoring board, bringing the most revenue for beers on St. Patrick’s Day.
4. Shamrocks? Holy Trinity?
Bit of an odd mix don’t you think? It is a legendary belief that during St. Patrick’s teaching of Christianity, he would use the 3-leaf plant as symbol of the Holy Trinity.
5. Count Yourself LUCKY!
If you find a 4-leaf clover on your first try, you’re actually pretty lucky! The chances of finding a 4-leaf clover on your first try is only 1 in 10,000.
6. #TeamGreen #TeamBlue
In light of the recent #whitegold or #blueblack dress movement, a couple of things that we learned are that we all need eye exams, and we don’t all agree on basic colors. Did you know that Patrick’s color was actually blue, not green? In many artworks portraying the religious advocate, he wore blue vestments. Green was later associated with the holiday because the greenness of the landscape in Ireland, the Emerald Isle.
Ever forgot to wear your green on St. Patrick’s Day only to realize it after being pinched? “Wearing of the Green” is an actual song that was written during the late 1790’s as a response to the British repression of the Irish people. Wearing green was a sign of rebellion to British rule and one could even be punished by death if caught in the color.
8. What’s A Holiday Without A Parade?
Whether it was for the actual love of St. Patrick’s Day or the mere fact that we love a good reason to drink – the United States loves a good ole’ parade, especially in Louisiana. This would explain why the first ever St. Patrick’s Day Parade was actually held in the United States. In 1762, Irish Soldiers serving in the U.S. marched the streets of New York in honor of the holiday.
9. The Snake Myth
This old folktale claims that St. Patrick was attacked by a legion of snakes during one of his 40-day fasts. As the story unfolds, it is said that St. Patrick single-handedly drove the snakes into the sea, and because of this there has been and continues to be an absence of snakes in Ireland.
10. Leprechaun Feminists
It’s 2015 and all should be equal… except Leprechauns? While you may see female leprechauns in children’s books, advertisements, or St. Patrick’s Day decorations, female leprechauns do not exist in the Irish folktale. #wack #equalrights #profemale