I’m sure you assume you already know everything about St. Patrick’s Day. We've all heard the story: St. Patrick’s Day is celebrating when St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland and saved his village. People celebrated with lots of beer and wore green and plastered shamrocks everywhere to commemorate the day. Well...you’re absolutely and totally wrong. Even down to the green. That’s right, there are tons of things you didn’t know about St. Patrick’s Day that are about to blow your mind.
Like almost every holiday we celebrate, St. Patrick’s Day has been slightly distorted over time and change of location. The United States actually had a huge influence on how the day is currently celebrated (ugh, of course we did), and almost all of the symbols and celebratory antics that take place really have nothing to do with why the holiday was originally celebrated.
Honestly, St. Patrick’s Day is to commemorate the saint. Sure his heroic attempt to chase the snakes out of Ireland is what he is known for, which is why people say that St. Patrick’s Day is to celebrate just that. But what if I told you there weren’t even snakes in the first place…
Now that I have your attention, here’s a few different things you probably didn’t know about St. Patrick’s Day.
Corned Beef And Hash Isn't The Traditional Meal
Nope, the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal is actually lamb or bacon!
The Symbol Of Ireland...
...isn’t a shamrock. It’s actually a harp to represent King David from biblical times.
St. Patrick’s Day Parades Are A U.S. Tradition
You can thank Boston for that…
The First U.S. St. Patrick’s Day Was In Boston
The first St. Patrick’s Day celebrations took place in Boston as well starting in 1737. Before parades became a common St. Patrick’s Day tradition in cities, people would celebrate with a huge breakfast at a local tavern.
St. Patrick’s Color Is Actually Blue
Yup, that’s right. Although everyone is sipping on Shamrock Shakes and pinching each other for not wearing green...they actually should be the ones pinched in return. George III created an order of chivalry for the Kingdom of Ireland that the color of St. Patrick is actually sky blue.
The Green Dye In The Chicago River Wasn't Intentional
The fluorescent dye, which is still used today, was originally used by the Chicago Plumbers Union on the river to trace illegal substances that were polluting the river.
St. Patrick Never Chased Snakes — There Actually Weren’t Snakes At All
That’s right. Not only were the no snakes, but according to National Geographic, it was almost impossible for snakes to even be in Ireland during that time period. Some say that St. Patrick wasn’t chasing snakes out of Ireland, but actually but non-Christians. Sadface.
It Was Originally A Sober Day
Let me guess your current thoughts: OK you’re actually joking though. No, I’m really not! Since St. Patrick’s Day is a Catholic holiday, bars used to be closed in Ireland. Those laws weren’t repealed until 1961!
Mar. 17 Is The Day St. Patrick Died
Not the day he drove out the “snakes.”