How great I’m blogging on St. Patrick’s Day, one of the most happy of all our holidays. Naturally, loving research as I do, I had to go digging around to find out all about it, and found lots of fun stuff.
Of course we all know it started out at a religious holiday in the Roman Catholic Church, but has spread to Protestant churches also, particularly in Ireland. Named after St. Patrick, of course, who lived from 387-461 A.D. It became an official feast day in the 17th century, but had gradually become a secular celebration over most of the world. Did you know it’s celebrated in Argentina, Montserrat, South Korea and Japan, among many others?
Montserrat??? Yep, this tiny island is known as the Emerald Island of the Caribbean because of its founding by Irish refugees. It’s one of the few places in the world where it’s an official holiday.
Some interesting tidbits you might or might now know:
The three-leaved shamrock was used by St. Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. His chasing the snakes from Ireland is pretty debatable, to say the least.
The biggest celebration is in Downpatrick, Ireland, where St. Patrick is rumored to be buried. Their festival lasts a week, with almost a hundred floats, bands and performers
The shortest parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork. The parade goes all of 100 yards between the village’s two pubs.
The longest running parade in Canada takes place in Montreal, whose flag has a shamrock in one of its corners. Their first parade was in 1824.
In New York City, parades have been held since 1762.It also boasts the oldest civilian parade in the world. In a typical year the thousands of marchers include police, firefighters, military groups clubs and associations and there’s well over 2 million spectators.
The Chicago River is dyed green each year for St. Patrick’s Day. I’d love to see that, since the river runs through the heart of town. Found a beautiful picture of the green river on Wikipedia, though, if you want to see it.
The north White House fountain has been dyed green for the last two years. I’m writing this the day ahead of the holiday so check the papers for today. It probably will be again.Found lots of great cartoon pictures, but wasn't sure of the copyright on them. Just Google if you want to see some cute ones.
You'd better be wearing green today, if you don't want to get pinched! Or the leprechauns will get you. I think I'd take the leprechauns!