5 Interesting Facts about St.Patrick’s Day
1. St.Patrick was actually not Irish
It is widely known that St.Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland, which there might have been a misunderstanding that St.Patrick was Irish. Actually, he was born in Britain and raised by Roman parents later on. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and was marketed as a slave to a Celtic priest in Northern Ireland. After laboring for about six years as a shepherd, he escaped back to Britain but eventually retired to Ireland as a Christian missionary.
2. The Shamrock Was Considered a Sacred Plant
A shamrock is a small plant with three leaves on each stem that is the national symbol of Ireland. Its history dates back to ancient Ireland when the shamrock, also called the “seamroy” by the Celts. It is considered a sacred plant that represents the arrival or rebirth of spring. According to legend, St. Patrick used the leaves of a shamrock as a metaphor for the holy trinity. Each leaf represented either the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. By the 17th century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism.
3. There were no snakes
Saint Patrick is credited for driving the snakes out of Ireland, but according to the fossil record, Ireland has never been home to snakes as it was too cold to host reptiles during the Ice Age. The surrounding seas have kept snakes out since.
4. First St.Patrick Parade was held in America
The first St.Patrick parade was held in New York City. The St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of the world's largest parades. Since 1762, roughly 250,000 marchers have traipsed up 5th Avenue on foot—the parade still doesn't allow floats, cars, or other modern trappings. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York; and Miracle on 34th Street actress Maureen O'Hara have served as Grand Marshal.
5. The Official Color was Supposed to Be Blue
Saint Patrick himself would have to deal with pinching on his feast day. Though we've come to associate kelly green with the Irish and the holiday, the 5th-century saint's official color was "Saint Patrick's blue," a light shade of sky blue. The significance of blue dates back to early Irish mythology when the sovereignty of Ireland, Flaitheas Éireann, was often represented by a woman dressed in a blue robe. The color green only became associated with the big day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century.
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