A Solemn St. Patrick’s Day

From my personal postcard collection

Instead of the usual celebratory parties and parades and wearing of the green, St. Patrick’s Day 2020 is a much more solemn occasion with our world pandemic.

How much do you know about St. Patrick?

1. St. Patrick was born about 390 AD, but he wasn’t Irish. He was born in England, Scotland or Wales and possibly had Roman parents. Remember – Rome controlled that area at the time he was born.

2. St. Patrick didn’t rid Ireland of snakes. It is more likely that there never were any snakes on the Emerald Isle.

3. As a teenager, St. Patrick was kidnapped and sent to Ireland for several years. He escaped, returned to his family and then had a dream. His dream told him to return to Ireland, which he did.

4. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was NOT held in Ireland. Boston hosted the first parade in 1737. Ireland didn’t follow suit until 1931 in Dublin!

5. You should be wearing BLUE on St. Patrick’s Day, as the earliest drawings of him show him attired in blue. Green is associated with Ireland’s landscape so the traditional holiday color became green.

6. The three leafed shamrock is associated with St. Patrick because he used it to explain the Holy Trinity – the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

7. Until the 1700s, St. Patrick’s Day was seen as a Roman Catholic holiday. Today, it is more associated with Ireland and its culture.

8. In 1962, Chicago decided to dye part of its river green. Next, the entire Chicago River was dyed green.

9. Corned beef is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal in the U.S., but not in Ireland.

10. St. Patrick did not bring Christianity to Ireland. There were already Christians living there when St. Patrick began his work.

Bonus: What does Erin Go Bragh mean?

It is the Anglicized spelling of the Irish phrase – Éirinn go Brách. It means “Ireland until the end of time.”

Have a fun St. Patrick’s Day, but celebrate safely!


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