March 12, 2020

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About St. Patrick’s Day

#1: The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Canada was held in Montreal!
Another reason to be proud Montrealers, the first ever St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were held in Montreal in 1824. Is anyone surprised? Perhaps this is what set the tone all those years ago for Montreal to be the party destination it is today. Source: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/st-patrick-s-day-in-canada

#2: The official colour of St. Patrick was originally blue!
The colour blue has deep meaning and roots in Irish mythology, history and culture. When George III established the “Order of St. Patrick”, its official colour was even referred to as “St. Patrick’s Blue”. So why aren’t we slathering blue face paint on March 17th instead of green? Towards the late 18th to 20th century, the colour green as well as St. Patrick’s famous shamrock became a symbol of identity, patriotism and even rebellion for the Irish. Source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/should-st-patricks-day-be-blue-180954572/

#3: The city of Chicago dyes their river green every year.
Every year since 1962, the Chicago River is dyed green using 40 pounds of an eco-friendly powder dye that the organizers refer to the dye as “leprechaun dust”. Source: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-st-patricks-day-chicago-river-green-dye-tradition-20160311-story.html

#4: The most popular drink on St. Patrick’s Day is…beer!
To no one’s surprise, beer is a St. Patrick’s Days staple. While green beer is festive and fun to indulge in, Guinness is the most commonly ordered. If you’re avoiding the crowded bars or simply want to kick off the festivities at home, good beer glasses are a must have. Pro-tip: Frost your glasses by leaving them in the freezer beforehand for a world of difference! Source: https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/guinness-st-patricks-day

#5: St. Patrick used to be a dry holiday…
This may be hard to believe; especially having just read #4 above but it’s true! St. Patrick’s Day was originally treated more as a religious holiday and all the pubs in Ireland would be closed. This was the case up until as late as the 1970’s! Source: https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/all-pubs-ireland-closed-st-patricks-day

#6: Shamrock Shakes are back and here to stay!
For those who do prefer to indulge in something non-alcoholic or are looking for a festive St. Patrick’s Day drink for kids, the infamous Shamrock Shake is perfect! You don’t have to wait once a year for McDonalds to bring it back. You can make and serve up your own version of this minty-fresh deliciousness at home. However you like to make your milkshakes, just make sure you have a good blender and some peppermint extract in your pantry and you are officially well equipped. Bonus points if your blender is mint-green as well!

#7: St. Patrick’s real name wasn’t actually Patrick…
March 17th could have very well called St. Maewyn’s Day! The actual saint Patrick’s name that he was born with was Maewyn Succat. According to legend, he had changed his name to Patricius when he became a priest. Source: http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1972553_1972551_1972451,00.html

#8: St. Patrick was not actually Irish!
Perhaps the most surprising fact so far, St. Patrick was actually British. He was born in Britain towards the end of the 4th century and actually came to Ireland originally as a slave and was held captive for 6 years. He eventually escaped back to England, but returned to Ireland later in life as a missionary. The rest is quite literally, history. Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/3/120316-saint-patricks-day-2012-march-17-facts-ireland-irish-nation/

#9: There were no snakes in Ireland…
St. Patrick’s legendary feat was driving the snakes away from Ireland during a powerful sermon he delivered. However, this scientifically is inaccurate as the climate in Ireland, especially at the time, was not suitable for snakes to live in – meaning, there were no snakes at all in Ireland at the time! Maybe they were worms? Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/3/140315-saint-patricks-day-2014-snakes-ireland-nation/

#10: The official dish to cook on St. Patrick’s Day is Corned Beef & Cabbage.
Every holiday has a meal associated to it and while beer may heralded as the main beverage for St.Patrick’s Day, the food is as humble and hearty as well. Corned beef and cabbage is cooked and enjoyed on St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re serving up a St. Patrick’s feast at home, this is the perfect meal to prepare! This is one of those easy recipes you can rely on your trust slow cooker for. Dump all your ingredients in there and have a drink (or two, or five, it’s St. Patrick’s Day – no one’s counting!) while you wait. Source: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/g981/st-patricks-day-food/

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