Every year we look forward to the fun we’ll have on St Paddy’s Day here at Naked Armor. Wait, it is the same as St Patrick’s Day, the Irish national day, right?
Some people call it St Patty’s Day, St Paddy’s, St Patrick, so which is it?
Ok let’s set the record straight, as straight as a straight razor if you don’t mind me saying. St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated throughout the world on March 17th. Named after the patron saint of Ireland, the day commemorates the arrival of Christianity on the Emerald Isle.
In Ireland the name Paddy is short for Patrick, but Patty is short for Patricia, so there we have it, St Patty’s Day it is not. Although the religious significance has been lost over time, St Paddy’s Day, or St Patrick’s Day, is now widely recognized as a celebration of Irish heritage and culture.
Whether it’s your first celebration or a regular event in your calendar don’t miss the fun and find out 17 things you didn’t know about St Patrick’s Day!
1. St. Patrick’s real name was Maewyn Succat, he was born in Great Britain near Kilpatrick, Scotland. As a teenager he was kidnapped and enslaved to work in Ireland.
At the age of 20 he managed to escape on a ship to France, where he converted to Catholicism and began studying for the priesthood.
2. He eventually returned to Ireland, by then a Bishop, and spread Catholicism throughout the country, establishing schools and churches.
3. Blue not green, was the original color used during the early St Patrick’s day celebrations and green slowly replaced it, with people wearing shamrocks and lime green chrysanthemums for parades.
Nowadays, bright green is seen on just about anything related to St Patrick’s Day. Some people dye their beard green, or their pet’s fur green, how about a river?
That’s how they celebrate it in Chicago, the entire system of rivers and canals is dyed green in honor of the holiday—a sight to behold.
4. Did you know? The first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade in the US predates the birth of the U.S itself.
5. Irishmen know a good shave, and in the old days, tradesmen in Ireland were not allowed to grow full beards and had to shave once a month according to the Geisi Ulchai, the Prohibitions of Beard.
Sporting long hair and a long beard was a sign of social status for men, the longer the beard, the more important they were.
6. What’s the craic? That’s a famous expression amongst our Celtic friends for “how’s it going” or “What’s up”. Craic, pronounced ‘crack’ refers to having a good time, or gossip/news depending on the context.
Grand is another word typically used by the Irish, but not to mean awesome or impressive, it means okay, fine. “How was your trip?” “it was grand”
7. The parades and celebrations for St Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be the same without its music, Ireland has a long tradition of folk music played with traditional instruments such as the harp, the fiddle or uilleann pipes.
8. After a grand shave, let the Irish music play and you might just break into céili, the traditional step dancing. If you’re not sure what that is, do you remember the dance troupe Riverdance? Their most famous performer was Irish-American dancer Michael Flatley in the mid 1990s.
9. The three-leaved green symbols are shamrocks not clovers. St Patrick used a shamrock to symbolize the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit to the pagan folks he encountered. That’s how he illustrated the idea that three entities could be part of the same body.
10. Although clovers and shamrocks are in the same plant family, clovers occasionally come as a four-leaved plant, due to a mutation. This being rare, finding a four-leaved clover became associated with a sign of good luck. So both are connected with the wearing of green on St Patrick’s Day festivities.
11. In Dublin, Ireland’s capital, St Patrick’s Day is a five day affair, with parades, concerts, pub events, kid’s activities and so on, much like carnival season in Brazil or the Caribbean.
12. Talking of which, the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean, has strong ties with Ireland and has made St Patrick’s Day a national holiday. Their Irish heritage dates back to the 17th century when Irish Catholics took refuge on Montserrat, fleeing persecution on other Caribbean islands.
13. And in Savannah, Georgia, St Patrick’s Day is also recognized as a legal holiday. Its historic parade is the second largest after that of New York City. Boston city however, has the highest number of Irish descendants by percentage of population.
14. If large gatherings and loud parades aren’t your thing, the best place to go on St Patrick’s day is an Irish pub to soak up the local atmosphere. Enjoy a pint of Guinness, or Magners (cider), chase it with a shot of Jameson Irish whiskey and you’ll be ceili dancing in no time.
15. A pint of Guinness has less calories than a pint of orange juice, at least the kind you get in a pub. Is that good or bad news? You decide, but on the day check out the traditional food as well as beverages.
16. Go out for a traditional Irish meal. The day is usually celebrated by eating dishes such as roast chicken with cabbage, black pudding and potato bread, and of course potatoes. Will you have some colcannon (mashed potatoes and cabbage) with your chicken, and soda bread on the side? That’d be grand thanks!
Don’t be surprised if you can’t order corned beef and cabbage in Ireland, that’s more of an Irish-American tradition than authentic Irish food.
17. Always wanted to wear a leprechaun fancy dress? St Patrick’s Day is the day for it! A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, a mysterious bearded creature who hides a golden pot at the end of a rainbow. This is our kind of leprechaun at Naked Armor, it’s all about the beard!
Ps: Irish boxer and martial artist Conor McGregor looking dapper