There are a lot of fun and interesting facts to learn about St. Patrick’s Day. From the origins of the Shamrock to the fact that Hallmark is involved in the holiday, you may just be surprised to learn all that’s behind the celebrating of the green! Here are some St. Patty’s Day fun facts-
All about the Shamrock-There is no arguing that the shamrock is the iconic symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. This little plant has both an interesting and long history. When this holiday rolls around the shamrock makes a huge appearance, from being seen pinned to lapels, to being stitched on to socks; there is no denying that shamrocks are a part of St. Patty’s Day. The shamrock was seen as sacred in the ancient history of Ireland. Because it was green and because of the overall shape, there were many who believed that the shamrock was the symbol of life and rebirth. Each of the leaves was said to represent one of the four principles of life which are: love, hope, faith and luck. Even today the shamrock is very popular within the culture of Ireland. When Ireland was under England’s control, many people would gather for a silent protest, with each person wearing a shamrock pinned onto their clothes. The shamrock will always be a very well-known symbol that will always represent Ireland and her people.
Hallmark gets in on the act too-When you think of Hallmark, you may think of Christmas, Mother’s Day and even Valentines, but you may be surprised to learn that on St. Patrick’s Day, Hallmark sells anywhere from eight to fifteen million cards. However, this isn’t new business for Hallmark; they have been offering cards for this holiday since early in the 1920s. Today much of their business is done from their website where they have approximately 100-125 of these green holiday cards to choose from. So when you wish someone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day using a Hallmark card, you are actually part of a long tradition.
There really aren’t any snakes in Ireland-There are lots of stories that abound about St. Patrick. One of the most famous stories about about him is that he chased all of the snakes out of Ireland, and into the ocean, where they were said to have drowned. For those who abhor snakes, this is triumphant ending, but the reality is that there is no historical record of any snakes ever living in Ireland. Researchers are at a loss as to how to explain this, but most likely the story about the snakes was meant only figuratively and not literally. Because of the fact that he is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, most likely the “snakes” were the pagan religions that already existed there.
New York is the place to celebrate-While you may think that Boston (a traditional Irish enclave) is the best place to celebrate, you would be wrong. Records show that New York has more Irish spirit then any other city in the United States. New York City held the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762 to honor the holiday. Even today the celebration is known to be the largest and along with a spectacular parade. The parade runs approximately 1 ½ miles, with over 150, 000 people in the parade and over 3 million spectators who come to cheer along the parade route.
St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish-You may have naturally assumed that Saint Patrick was Irish, but would you be surprised to learn that you were wrong? He was most likely born in Scotland or Wales, under the birth name of Maewyn Succat. He was kidnapped and sold into Irish slavery at the young age of 16. Later on he became a priest, took the name Patricius, (better known as Patrick).