Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone!!
This is my 2nd favorite holiday, coming up just behind Christmas. I love an excuse to wear my favorite color: green, to get in touch with my 1/4 Irish heritage, to chow down on Irish soda bread and I get to rock out the The Pogues, The Young Dubliners and Flogging Molly without getting too many odd looks from my coworkers. Today is also a fabulous excuse to drink too much beer, throw back a few Irish car bombs (my fave!) and get a tad too loud with good friends...all for the sake of Ireland (supposedly)!
But, I also love this holiday because we get to celebrate Ireland and the country's wonderfully colorful history. I know, I know, I'm showing my true colors as a nerd here, but I just can't help myself. I love Irish history and folklore!
So, here are just a few historical tidbits about Saint Patrick's Day for you file away in your brain...you never know when you might need a bit of trivia:
- Saint Patrick was actually Romano-British, but was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave when he was young. He later escaped, but believed he was called back by God to save the pagan Irish.
- The shamrock, which typically has only 3 leaves and has become the symbol of Saint Patrick's Day (and Ireland), is believed to have been used by Saint Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish.
- Blue was originally the color associated with Saint Patrick and this holiday.
- Outside of Dublin, Ireland's biggest Saint Patrick's Day celebrations are in Downpatrick, County Down where the saint is rumored to be buried.
- Chicago has dyed it's river green every Saint Patrick's Day since 1962.
- On March 17, 1776, George Washington issued General Orders from Cambridge, MA stating that the password for the day would be "Boston" and its reply would be "Saint Patrick".
- Saint Patrick's Day is believed to have been celebrated in Ireland since before the 1600's as a break in the Lenten season for the Irish Catholics, but wasn't officially recognized as a public holiday until 1903.
- The first recorded Saint Patrick's Day parade in the world was organized by the Irish Society of Boston and held on March 18, 1737 in (obviously) Boston, MA.
I hope everyone is wearing their green and enjoys this fun holiday! And, if you are participating in the beer guzzling be safe!
(source for historical facts)