Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Facts

Some unknown Little facts on this wonderful Irish day:

1) ) There are more Americans of Irish origin than there are Irish in Ireland. In Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire Irish is the leading ancestral group.

2) St. Patrick's Day got its American start in 1737 in Boston. We celebrate St. Patrick's Day to remember the achievements St. Patrick made during his time.

3) St. Patrick's given name was Maewyn Succat and he was born in Britain around 385 AD. At age 16 he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his 6 years as a slave he turned to religion for solace. He escaped slavery and made his way to Gaul where he changed his name to Patrick and studied in the monastery under St. Germain.

4) St. Patrick converted pagans to Christianity, angering the Celtic Druids who threw him in prison many time as a result.

5) It is believed that St. Patrick died on March 17th, the day that we now celebrate St. Patrick's Day. March 17th is also feast day in Ireland.

6) The actual color of St. Patrick is blue. Green became associated with St. Patrick's Day during the 19th century. Green, in Irish legends, was worn by fairies and immortals, and also by people to encourage their crops to grow.

7) St. Patrick's celebrations were originally religious festivals; up until the 1970s Irish law mandated that pubs be closed on St. Patrick's Day. In 1995 the Irish government used St. Patrick's day to drive tourism to Ireland.

8) St. Patrick did not actually drive snakes out of Ireland; the snakes represent the Pagans that he converted to Christianity.

9) The first organized St. Patrick's Day Parade was held in New York in 1762. The parade consisted of Irish soldiers serving in the English military, the parade helped them reconnect with their Irish roots.

10) The shamrock, which was also called the "seamroy" by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. According to legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity ( God exists
as three persons--father, son, and the Holy Spirit) to the Irish.


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