Spring is on the way. Even if the side streets still have mounds of snow on them. Even if the high today is only in the fifties. Even if there is more wintry weather in the forecast later this week. We can feel it. Spring is about to be reborn.
We know this because one of our favorite holidays is just around the corner. Celebrated on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day honors the patron saint of Ireland on the anniversary of his fifth century death. While you may have already laid out your favorite green sweater, stocked your pantry with corned beef and cabbage, and displayed our Shamrock Tassel in your foyer, there may be a few facts about St. Patrick’s Day that you didn’t know.
- The tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with parades actually started in America. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States took place on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. But the parade tradition didn’t really gain steam until the 1840’s, when the potato famine of Ireland sent immigrants pouring into northeastern American cities.
- There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry, which is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
- The shamrock was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. But St. Patrick used the three leaves of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As a result, the shamrock later became a symbol of Irish Christian pride in the 18th century.
- There are over 450 churches named for St. Patrick in the United States.
- St. Patrick technically wasn’t Irish. He was born in Britain and kidnapped by Irish raiders at the age of sixteen. After spending six years in captivity, he converted to Christianity and later returned to Ireland as a missionary.
- There are several myths and legends about St. Patrick; one of the more popular legends claims that he rid Ireland of snakes.
- Forty pounds of green dye are used to turn the Chicago River green every year for St. Patrick’s Day.
- Looking for an authentic way to proclaim your Irish pride? Try posting “Erin Go Bragh” as your status update for your Facebook feed on March 17th. “Erin Go Bragh” means Ireland Forever!
- Only 25% of Americans decorate their home or office for St. Patrick’s Day.
We’re betting our customers are a part of the decorating 25%, right? Whether you are celebrating your Irish heritage or rejoicing in the rebirth of Spring, we hope you eat your fill of corned beef and cabbage and enjoy this special day with family and friends.