Ah, St. Patrick's Day: the day when each one of your friends and even your grandfather seems to be Irish. This is probably the only day when you'll dig through your closet, just to find that special green something to wear wherever you go. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated all over the world, and for many, it's a day to relax and drink, whether it's a favorite ale or just some random green beer served at the bar. Many think St. Patrick's Day is just about wearing green, drinking, and dealing with the hangover the next day. However, there are probably some things that many don't know about St. Patrick's Day.
Some of the facts you'll find surprising, while others are a little bit more expected, especially if you've participated in a St. Patrick's Day festivity once in your life. And of course, have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!
- Prohibition in Ireland....Really
|Newfoundland and Labrador|
While many places all over the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day, from the U.S. to Australia to Argentina and South Korea, only a very select few locations have actually made this day a public holiday for everyone. First, the very tiny island sometimes known as "Emerald Island of the Caribbean", Montserrat, is one of three countries that publicly celebrate the holiday. This is due to the high number of Irish refugees that came from Nevis and St. Kitts to the island. So to commemorate them, the holiday is celebrated. The holiday is also considered to be a public one in Newfoundland and Labrador. Here the holiday is celebrated to remember a failed slave uprising that occurred in 1798. And of course, last but not least, Ireland has made March 17th a public holiday as well.
With every event that occurs, there's usually some sort of coincidence to it, and St. Patrick's Day is no exception. In a few counties in Massachusetts, the state with the largest amount of an Irish population ( about one fourth), there is a celebration of a day known as Evacuation Day. Mainly the day is celebrated in Somerville, Cambridge, and Suffolk County. While Boston is already well known for its celebration of St. Patrick's Day, Evacuation Day is important as well. Coincidentally the holiday falls on March 17th, but it does commemorate a very special event in Irish history. On March 17, 1776, the British forces left Boston after troops headed by Henry Knox and George Washington, placed heavy artillery around the city. To celebrate this significant event, counties in Massachusetts made the day a holiday in 1901. However, the holiday is usually under heavy fire, as some see it as a wast of money, as workers are paid for a day off.
With a holiday all about the Irish, you'd probably think that the biggest and most widely known celebrations come from nowhere else but Ireland. However, as history shows, Ireland isn't the country that tops the list with Irish pride, at least not when it comes to celebrations and festivities. After decades of studying, no one has found the exact time when St. Patrick's Day was first widely celebrated. The first known depiction of the holiday comes from a man named Jonathan Swift, who mentions a 1713 celebration taking place in London. The only thing mentioned is a day where Westminster Parliament was given a holiday and that buildings were decorated in green. In 1762 in New York City, the first parade honoring this holiday took place. Today it stands as the largest celebration and parade in the U.S. Almost 3 million people come to see the parade, which contains over 150,000 people that span a mile and a half long.
Because St. Patrick's Day is so popular in Ireland, and all you really ever hear about on the date is Irish this Irish that, you probably just assume that St. Patrick is as well.....Irish. However, your assumption would be wrong St. Patrick was actually Scottish and was said to be either born in Scotland or Wales. Even more shocking is that his nae wasn't even Patrick. His birth name is actually Maewyn Succat. However, at the age of 16, he was kidnapped and sold into Irish slavery. Later on in time he became a priest under bishop of Auxerre and took on the name Patricius, better known as Patrick. her he felt that this was his calling in bringing Christianity and Ireland closer together. In any case, the Scottish should get some recognition on this day as well.