In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here at Massey Services we pulled together some interesting facts from a variety of sources about this popular green holiday!
Facts on St. Patrick’s Day:
Did You Know…
St. Patrick’s color is actually a very light shade of blue. The color green only became associated with the big day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century, according to Mental Floss.
St. Patrick’s was a dry holiday in Ireland until 1970, according to Catholic Online. Aside from the color green, the activity most associated with St. Patrick’s Day is drinking. However, Irish law, from 1903 to 1970, declared St. Patrick’s Day a religious observance for the entire country meaning that all pubs were shut down for the day. That meant no beer, not even the green kind, for public celebrants. The law was overturned in 1970, when St. Patrick’s was reclassified as a national holiday – allowing the taps to flow freely once again.
Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick’s Day to share a “traditional” meal of corned beef and cabbage. Though cabbage has long been an Irish food, corned beef only began to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day at the turn of the century. Irish immigrants living on New York City’s Lower East Side substituted corned beef for their traditional dish of Irish bacon to save money. They learned about the cheaper alternative from their Jewish neighbors, according to History.com.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade was invented in the United States, according to Care2. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English army marched through New York City. The parade and accompanying music helped the soldiers celebrate with their Irish roots, as well as reconnect with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.
The original Irish name for the leprechaun is “lobaricin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow.” According to History.com, belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic believe in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure.
According to Scientific American, the odds of finding a four leaf clover on your first try is 1 in 10,000. Good Luck!