Saint Patrick’s Day is on March 17th (which falls on a Thursday this year), a holiday long associated with luck, fun and Irish tradition. Customarily, Boston is just the place to celebrate the festivities, often hosting thousands of visitors who sit, drink and be merry within one of our many local pubs. Granted, the green beer is fun but did you know that alcohol was originally banned on the holiday, forcing restaurants and bars to be closed? This is just one example of the trivia and customs associated with Saint Patrick’s Day that few even know about. Test your Irish history and see if you’re aware of these true facts about an authentic Saint Patrick’s Day celebration!
- Saint Patrick was not from Ireland, as many believe. He was originally born in England and was captured, then enslaved to Ireland as a sheepherder. Once he escaped, he returned home to become a priest and then travelled back to Ireland to pass on his teachings.
- The story about Saint Patrick chasing the snakes out of Ireland is almost impossible to be true according to experts from National Geographic. These slithery critters are almost never seen in this area because the geographical composition is post glacier.
- The official Irish color is not green but is in fact BLUE! Most of Ireland is not as lush as most people believe accept for the Emerald Isle. The blue is significant because it is the shade featured in many of the country’s flags.
- Even though the four-leaf clover is a wonderful find since they are extremely rare, they are often misconceived as the country’s symbol. The harp is actually the official logo of Ireland, although clovers remain the more popular notion.
- Corned beef and cabbage might be the sought after dish on the menu this holiday but did you know that bacon was actually the original protein cooked during this holiday? Because many settlers who came to America could afford so little, this inevitably led to a substitution using a cheaper product than pork.