07 Aug 2022

10 things you might not have known about St Patrick's Day

The day the world turns green for Ireland's patron saint

10 things you might not have known about St. Patrick's Day

10 things you might not have known about St. Patrick's Day

1. The drinking...

Drinking wasn't always part of the St Patrick's Day celebrations. It appears we were drowning the shamrock too much and having way too much craic altogether, so in 1927, the government's pub ban came into force. The pubs were dry on March 17 from then until 1970 when the craic was re-introduced. 

2. There's a row over the parade...

Although Ireland didn't stage its first parade until 1931, there's a dispute between New York and Boston over who staged the first ever St. Patrick's Day parade. New York says they had the first official one in 1762, but the lads in Boston claim they sort of held one in 1737. Fight among yourselves, lads - we'll be in the pub!

ALSO READ: Longford parade to rival best Ireland has to offer

3. Enda extended the craic...

As the Minister for Tourism in the mid-1990s, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny extended the St Patrick's Day celebrations into a week-long festival. 

4. We have the colour wrong...

The green colour now associated with St Patrick's day only came about in the 19th century because of his association with Irish myths and legends, but for over 1,000 years, St Patrick was associated with the colour blue.

ALSO READ: Lá Fhéile Pádraig celebrations in Lanesboro and Ballyleague

5. The craic is worldwide...

March 17 is not just a national holiday in Ireland; it is also a national holiday on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. Their population of 4,000 come to a standstill for the day too, owing to the large number of Irish emigrants that landed there in the 17th century.

6. He's not even Irish...

Although celebrated in Ireland as our patron saint, St Patrick was actually born in Scotland. Some say he claimed the granny rule. Jack Charlton would have almost certainly used him to run the snakes out of Italia 90. 

ALSO READ: Superheroes of the Literary World the theme for Ballymahon parade

7. St Patrick's real name isn't very Irish...

First we hear he's from Scotland and now this. Say it isn't so! Well, in fact it is, and St Patrick's real name was Maewyn Succat - of the Clonbullogue Succats, we believe! His father was a great hurler...

8. He had absolutely nothing to do with snakes...

According to National Geographic - and they know their stuff - St Patrick most certainly did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. They say that the reptiles never existed at all here. 

Also Read: USA will toast Longford craft on St Patrick’s Day

9. The US President once forgot about St Patrick's Day...

One of the most popular US presidents in Ireland, John F Kennedy, allegedly forgot it was St Patrick's Day during his first year as president in 1961. White House staff had to scramble find a green tie for the president when the Irish ambassador to America knocked in with a big auld bowl of shamrock. The shame!

10. He actually did love shamrock...

Shamrock is the symbol of Ireland and St Patrick, and it became the latter because St Patrick used it when teaching people about the holy trinity in the Christian religion. 

ALSO READ: Young Ballinalee artist Zoe Mulligan wins St Patrick's Day masthead competition

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.