Happy St. Patrick’s day!
Today is St Patrick’s day, celebrated around the globe by the drinking of Guinness and wearing of green clothing. You don’t need to be Irish to enjoy this celebration of the patron saint of Ireland, it’s a case of “the more, the merrier”, which we think is a fine philosophy for life!
We found out a few interesting facts about the man and the tradition which we thought were worth sharing today:
- St Patrick Day marks the date of the saint’s death.
- St Patrick Day is a public holiday in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland but not in Great Britain.
- St Patrick’s Day did not become an official holiday in Ireland until 1903.
- St Patrick’s Day celebrates the saint bringing Christianity to Ireland.
- St Patrick was born in Britain in the 5th century.
- St Patrick was said to have been captured by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland where he was forced to work as a shepherd for six years.
- He escaped back to Britain but a vision from God told him to return to Ireland and spread Christianity.
- Legend has it that Saint Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland, but research shows there were no snakes in Ireland at the time!
- It is said that St Patrick used shamrocks (a three leaved plant, often confused with a four leaved clover which is a symbol of good luck) as a metaphor for the Christian holy trinity of father, son and holy spirit.
- “Drowning the shamrock” is an old St Patrick’s Day custom which entails placing a shamrock at the bottom of the cup before filling it and finishing the drink as a toast.
- Since 2010, famous landmarks across the world have been lit up green in honour of the day. The Sydney Opera was the first to take part, and the trend has now spread to over 300 landmarks in 50 countries.
Which leaves us with just one last thing to say,
“Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!”
[translation: Happy St. Patrick’s day to you!]