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

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

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

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 Bostom 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!

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.

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. 

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. 

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 aul 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.