As everyone says, on March 17 everyone’s a little Irish and celebrates their inner Irishness. So I have put together 10 main facts about St. Patrick’s Day:
1. Who is St. Patrick?
Well, St Patrick is definitely the most famous patron saint of Ireland. According to the legend, he brought Christianity to the island, made the shamrock fashionable and freed Ireland from snakes.
2. OFFICIAL IRISH HOLIDAY
Did you know that it was a Waterford man, Luke Wadding that secured St. Patrick’s Day to become a national holiday back in the 17th century?
3. ST PATRICK – IRISH OR BRITISH?
But he is not actually Irish or British, he was born as Maewyn Succat and was Welsh. He was sold into slavery as a teenager and that is how he ended up in Ireland.
It is said that St Patrick freed Ireland from snakes but according to the biologists, there were never any actual snakes on the island. So the explanation for this is that the snakes represent a metaphor for paganism that was forced out by the saint.
5. THOSE LOVELY SHAMROCKS
It is said that he used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. So each leaf represented God, Son and Holy Spirit which was successful technique because the Celts already believed that each leaf has a meaning.
6. GREEN, GREEN AND MORE GREEN
St Patrick was originally represented in shades of blue but since the 17 century, it changed to green. During the Irish Rebellion in 1798, it became the symbol of Irish nationalism and they even had the Irish folk song:
“Oh, Paddy dear, did you hear the news that’s going ’round?
The shamrock is forbidden by law to grow on Irish ground
Saint Patrick’s Day no more to keep, his colour can’t be seen
For there’s a bloody law again’ the Wearing of the Green.”
Everything goes green on this day; from buildings to rivers and beers.
One simply must adore these mischievous fairies who, if you catch them, will grant you three wishes. You will be able to recognise them by their green clothes and pot of gold. Please ask for more sunshine in Ireland.
Watching or participating in a parade is a must for most Irish people. If you want to experience a more authentic traditional parade with local people go to smaller cities like Kilkenny, Galway or Waterford. Parades are usually full of brightly coloured and highly decorated floats, marching bands and theatrical groups made up of groups and members of the sports associations and local national and secondary schools.
On St Patrick Day consumption of Guinness doubles on 7.5 million pints. Sláinte!
10. And for the end:
May your day be touched
by a bit of Irish luck
brightened by a song in your heart
and warmed by the smiles
no you, Ladies, for having me there
Waterford was awarded the Purple Flag in February 2015 and it represents good quality evening and night time economy. It can be seen as the equivalent of the Blue Flag awarded to good beaches.
Waterford City started the initiative Joy of Bells, and numerous countries across the globe will follow, the church bells will ring at 11 am for all the immigrants and refugees.
Mary McAleese said: The bells will be ringing a message of love, hope and inclusion that we hope will bring comfort to the men, women and children whose lives are blighted by the hatred and bigotry of those who would deny them their dignity and rights as human beings.