With St. Patrick’s Day almost upon us – March 17th in case you’re wondering – it’s time to talk about some interesting facts about the holiday that you might not have known about before. As a holiday that has become an excuse to go to a tavern and drink green beer, sometimes people forget that St. Patrick’s Day is a real holiday that celebrates a saint that, believe it or not, is surrounded by a little controversy. Here are 5 facts to remember about St. Patrick’s Day when you’re enjoying that green beer.
1. March 17 is the day St. Patrick died
Contrary to what some people might assume, St. Patrick was not born on March 17. In fact, that’s the day he died at the age of 74 in 461 AD.
2. St. Patrick is not from Ireland
Surprised? St. Patrick is actually originally from Wales. And, in fact, his name was not even Patrick originally. He changed his name from Maewyn Succat to Patricius after becoming a priest. We’re getting tired of the lies, Patricius.
3. St. Patrick’s Day was originally a dry holiday
I’ll give you a moment to wipe the green beer off your chin after spitting it out from reading such a shocking fact. Until 1970, St. Patrick’s Day was considered a religious observance to the country of Ireland, meaning that all pubs were closed for the day! St. Patrick’s Day was then reclassified as a national holiday in 1970 which gave way for the taps to flow freely once more. Phew!
4. St. Patrick never drove any slithering snakes out of Ireland
And it would have been hard for him to do so because snakes have never existed in Ireland. The frigid climate is not suitable for snakes, so St. Patrick probably had never even seen an actual snake before. He did, however, convert many Pagans into Christians which is where the term “drove the snakes out of Ireland” came from. The Pagans were the snakes.
5. There are no female leprechauns
Don’t be fooled by the girls wearing green at the bars. Female leprechaun decorations are a new installment to the holiday as there are only male leprechauns in traditional Irish folk stories.
So maybe you can use some of these facts to impress someone at the bar or club this St. Patrick’s Day. Just remember to always drink safely, don’t drive, and take care of yourself.