Published by Naked Armor
There’s something about the Irish that brings out our fondness for parties and beer. It certainly helps that the Irish have some of the world’s greatest beards, trimmed to perfection, no doubt, by their awesomely sharp razor shaving skills.
Or maybe it’s because on this occasion, it’s customary to get a shave - the St. Patrick’s Day Shave.
Way to go for the Irish to level up their St. Patrick’s Day celebration with an official reason for men to take out their razors and shave. Yup, just the people after one’s own heart.
Seriously though, there’s a real explanation behind the St. Patrick’s Day Shave. We’ll get into that in a bit.
Celebrated on March 17, it used to be a religious holiday since it marks the arrival of Christianity on the Emerald Isle when St. Patrick drove out the snakes (metaphorically, speaking) from the island.
These days though, it’s more of a cultural celebration among the Irish-born and Irish-descent worldwide. It’s an occasion for them to get together, have fun, celebrate all things Irish and get drunk.
Of course, when one gets drunk, there are many opportunities to get irreverent. So sure, call St. Patrick St. Paddy but definitely, not St. Patty. We’re sure the venerable saint up there in the Pearly Gates won’t mind.
Whether it’s your first celebration or an annual tradition in your social calendar, don’t miss the fun and discover what you never knew about St. Patrick’s Day!
1. His real name was Maewyn Succat. Born in Great Britain, near Kilpatrick, Scotland, he was kidnapped as a teenager and enslaved to work in Ireland.
At age 20, he managed to escape on a ship bound for France, where he converted into Catholicism and began studying for the priesthood.
2. He eventually returned to Ireland as a Bishop and spread Christianity throughout the country, establishing schools and churches.
3. Blue, not green, was the original color used during the early St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Somewhere along, green slowly replaced it when people began wearing shamrocks and lime green chrysanthemums for the festival parades.
Nowadays, bright green is used for just about anything related to St. Patrick’s Day. Some go even a bit further; they dye their beards or their pets furs green. In Chicago even, they dyed green the city’s entire system of rivers and canals to mark the holiday-truly a sight to behold.
4. We bet you didn’t know that the first ever St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in America predated even the birth of US itself.
5. Irish men know a good shave, but in the olden days, tradesmen in Ireland were not allowed to grow full beards. They had to shave once a month, according to the Geisi Ulchai, the Prohibitions of Beard.
This was because sporting a long hair and beard was a sign of social status among the ancient Irishmen. The longer the beard, the more important they were.
Thankfully though, such distinctions are no longer observed today but the Irish's love for beards still remain.
Every March, hairy and bearded fellows from all over the world come to Ireland for the Festival of Finn, an annual competition which showcases whiskers of all kinds.
You might not want to shave your head on St. Patrick’s Day, but hey, break out your artisanal soaps and heirlooms razors. It’s still one heck of a special day for shaving your beard.
— Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder
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 unique 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. Though both clovers and shamrock come from the same family, and therefore have three leaves, clovers usually undergo a variation resulting in a four-leaved plant. Because this is rare, finding one became associated with good luck. Both, however, are connected with wearing 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 Brazil’s carnival season. Clearly, these people know how to party!
12. Some nations have also adopted the celebration. In the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean, which has strong ties with Ireland, they have St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday. Their strong Irish heritage dates back to the 17th century when Irish Catholics took refuge on Montserrat, after escaping 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 would be an Irish pub to soak up the local atmosphere. Enjoy a pint of Guinness, or Magners (cider), chase it down 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 take the opportunity on St. Patrick’s Day to 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!
Just 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 cuisine.
17. The St. Patrick‘s Day Shave originated as a charity event to raise research funds for children stricken with cancer. Organized by the St. Baldrick Foundation, it’s now a regular fundraising event that attracts thousands to shave their heads for donations for cancer research.
Today, it’s now evolved to become the latest tradition among the shaving enthusiasts. You might not want to shave your head on St. Patrick’s Day, but hey, break out your artisanal soaps and heirlooms razors. It’s still one heck of a special day for shaving your beard.
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, because at Naked Armor, it’s all about the beard!