Each year, on March 17, Ireland and the whole world celebrates St. Patrick’s day, a serious religious holiday. That means that everyone will dress in green (and even paint buildings in green!), have solemn parades, drink beer, dance, sing and have fun, hang bright st patricks day balloons decorations and colorful garlands with traditional symbols of the holiday everywhere!
We bet that there are so many things related to this holiday that you still don’t know, so we decided to share with you some St.Patrick's day interesting facts and traditions!
A long time ago, St. Patrick’s day decorations were quite simple and monotonous, and they were somehow connected with the origins of the celebration. Crosses and three-leaf clover leaves were made of paper, fabric, cardboard, metal, and wood. Also, these materials were used to create decorations such as bows, rosettes, tassels, and Irish and Celtic symbols.
Today, St. Patrick's day decorations are much more versatile: latex and foil balloons (as well as versatile balloon arrangements), candles, fresh flowers, garlands, tinsel — all this helps to make the holiday even more colorful and more cheerful!
Saint Patrick, who lived in the 4th-5th centuries in England and Ireland, is considered the baptist and patron saint of Ireland. Interestingly, the original color associated with St. Patrick was not green at all, but blue. A few pictures which have survived to this day show that the saint wore the blue robes.
In fact, Patrick's name was Mavin, he was born in Roman Britain to a wealthy family. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped by pirates, who named him “Patrick” and brought him to Ireland.
According to one of the legends, Saint Patrick expelled all the snakes from Ireland. However, scientists claim that there were no snakes at all on the island, which is famous for its cold climate. And historians believe that the legend should be interpreted as an allegory: the snakes, most likely, meant pagan beliefs.
Green color, Leprechauns, and Three-leaf clover
According to one of the versions, the green color has become a symbol of the holiday, because the grass in Ireland is always green (green is the color of spring, Ireland, and three-leaf clover). But there are other hypotheses: during the 1798 uprising, Irish soldiers wore green uniforms to draw people’s attention.
There is a belief that Saint Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the Christian dogma of the Holy Trinity to the pagans clearly demonstrating the unity of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
As for the leprechauns they are also considered a symbol of the holiday: these are little mythical men who keep their gold in pots, repair shoes for mythical creatures, and make wishes come true. It’s worth mentioning that leprechauns began to be associated with St. Patrick's day just recently after the Holiday’s advertising company needed a fairy-tale character to be portrayed on postcards.
Spreading the holiday
Irish immigrants contributed to spreading St. Patrick's day across the world. Today, this holiday is official in Ireland and Northern Ireland, in the USA, in the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador.
It is also widely celebrated in countries with a large Irish diaspora. Nowadays, St. Patrick's day is not only a religious holiday but also a kind of festival of Irish culture.
Today, if you want to celebrate St. Patrick's day in Ireland, you will have to try hard, because many tourists who have appreciated the Irish holiday, book their rooms for the event six months before the action starts!