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Saint Patrick's Day fun facts

Did You Know…

Saint Patrick’s Day was originally an Irish Catholic religious holiday in celebration of Christianity’s spread to Ireland, a feat that is credited to (of course) Saint Patrick.

As the most recognizable of the Irish Saints, Saint Patrick has garnered an unofficial honor as the patron saint of Ireland itself as well as of Irish heritage.

The holiday is celebrated on March 17th because that’s the day that Saint Patrick died in the year 461.

The original color associated with Saint Patrick’s Day was not green, but blue.

 Saint Patrick's Day green or blue

In Irish folklore, the shamrock, or three leaved clover, is said to have been used by Saint Patrick to explain the Christian trinity to the Irish during his attempt to convert them.  The majority of those living in Ireland at the time were pagan.

Saint Patrick’s Day didn’t become an official public holiday in Ireland until 1903, even though the feast of St. Patrick had been celebrated since at least the early 1600s.

The movement to turn Saint Patrick’s Day into a celebration of Irish heritage rather than religion began in the mid 1990s with a committee formed in Republic of Ireland and the first “Saint Patrick’s Cultural Festival” held in 1996.  By 2009 the festival was drawing nearly a million visitors.

Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations are currently held in over 15 countries around the world, including Japan, South Korea, Russia, New Zealand, and Argentina.

The Celtic cross, Celtic knot, and lucky clover consistently rank amongst the top 50 most popular tattoo elements in both the united States and the UK.

Although in modern times it’s more widely used as a symbol of Irish heritage, loyalty, or friendship, the claddagh ring was originally used as a wedding ring.  Before marriage and during engagement, the bottom or “point” of the heart is worn on the left ring finger pointing towards the fingertips (in other words, upside down), and once married the ring is turned right side up with the point facing towards the wrist.

pretty Irish Claddagh finger rings

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