Whether you are Irish by birth or Irish at heart, St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) is celebrated by millions across the world. Naturally, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but if you feel the need for a quick primer before the party begins, here's a bit of fun St. Paddy's trivia...
According to Irish legend, Saint Patrick's birth name was Maewyn Succat. After becoming a priest, he changed his name to Patricius. Wish someone a happy Maewyn Succat Day on March 17th and see what happens.
Believe it or not, St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, wasn't actually Irish. He was born in the late 4th century in Britain, which was then part of the Roman Empire. Kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery at age 16, St. Patrick spent six years imprisoned in Ireland. He managed to escape as a stowaway on a boat bound for Britain, but returned to Ireland decades later in response to a vision he had in a dream. St. Patrick was the first Christian missionary in Ireland and is considered the country's patron saint.
St. Patrick's Day honors the day that St. Patrick died, March 17th 460 A.D. For those who celebrate its intended historical meaning, St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal.
Legend has it that St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity, the three green leaves representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. By the 18th century, the shamrock was adopted as a symbol of Irish Christian belief. Shamrocks are the official national flower/emblem of Ireland.
While shamrocks (three leaf clovers) are quite common, a four leaf clover is produced by a rare genetic mutation. Considered quite lucky, your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000. Happy hunting!
Know the lingo...You may hear someone exclaim Éirinn go Brách (pronounced Erin go Bragh) at a St. Patrick's Day celebration. Roughly translated, the phrase means “Ireland Forever.”
Mind the dress code...on St. Patrick's Day wear green or prepare to be pinched! All in good fun, this idea was popularized by Irish immigrants in the United States, who believed that wearing green made them invisible to leprechauns. How far you want to take this is up to you...
Not to muddy the water too much, but St. Patrick's signature color was actually blue. During the Irish rebellion of 1798, green became the color that symbolized Irish national identity - and remains so to this day. Keep this tidbit in your back pocket. It's a good argument for trying to get away with wearing your favorite shade of teal or aqua.
The first official St. Patrick's Day parade on record took place in New York City on March 17th, 1762...fourteen years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence! Over 250 years later, it's an annual New York City tradition that's still going strong. The NYC St. Paddy's Day parade is the largest parade in the nation with over 300,000 marchers and more than 3-million spectators.
There's more to St. Patrick's Day menus than corned beef and cabbage. Try out this easy-peasy recipe at your next St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Enjoy this beautiful version of O Danny Boy while you're baking those yummy bread sticks. O Danny Boy is a ballad set to an ancient Irish melody and is one of the most popular and recognizable Irish songs of all time. A word of caution...it will get stuck in your head. You're welcome!
Wishing you a joyful St. Patrick's Day!
We leave you with two traditional Irish Blessings...
Irish Blessing Sterling Silver Mobius Bangle Bracelet - Inscription written in Gaelic and English: "Go n-eiri an bothar leat. May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand."
Irish Blessing Sterling Silver Double Mobius Necklace - Inscription: "God grant you always, a sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you."