This is a guest post written by one of our Bees, Stephanie Modkins
St. Patrick’s Day marks the 24-hour period in which people wear green and drink lots of beer. It’s also an annual excuse for an awesome parade.
Now, these elements sum up what the average Joe knows about this holiday. So, the following 5 surprising facts about St. Patrick’s Day that will raise your eyebrows.
No. 1: Blue Was the Original Color for St. Patrick’s Day.
During the 1700s, St. Patrick’s Day celebrants wore azure blue (sky blue). This hue was adopted from the Anglo-Irish Order of St. Patrick. The shift to green was gradual. People began wearing this color because of Ireland’s nickname – the Emerald Isle.
No 2: More Irish People Reside in the United States than in Ireland.
The population of Ireland is 4.94 million. But the number of people with Irish heritage in America is over 30 million. So, how did this occur? It started in the 1800s. A famine led to the influx of Irish immigrants to America. The highest population of Irish people live in Maine and Pennsylvania.
No. 3: Saint Patrick Was From Rome, Not Ireland.
Saint Patrick was born around 385 A.D. in Banna Venta Berniae. Roman parents Calpurnis and Conchessa named him Maewyn Succat. His ethnic heritage was either British or Celtic. At age 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland. After a few years, he escaped, but returned to convert his captures.
No. 4: St. Patrick’s Day Is a Religious Holiday.
St. Patrick’s day honors the start of Christianity in Ireland. Although Saint Patrick is credited for this event, other Christians attempted to proselytize Ireland before him. Nevertheless, in the 1600s, St. Patrick’s Day became a holy day of obligation for the Roman Catholics in Ireland.
No. 5: There Are Different Meanings Surrounding Clovers.
The most popular belief is that each part of a 4-leaf clover represents faith, hope, love, and luck. Another one is that Saint Patrick used three-leaf (regular) clovers to explain the trinity. Both are inspiring and explain why people consider clovers lucky.
These Surprising 5 facts about Saint Patrick’s Day show how holidays transform. Rarely do these special days remain the same throughout the years. What they maintain is the joy people have in celebrating them.
Editor’s Note: Stephanie Modkins is an active Mobee user. She spent her childhood as a military dependent traveling to different places like the Philippines. This experience taught her the value of diversity. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing cards, and watching singing competitions.