If you hold a four-leaf shamrock in your left hand at dawn on St. Patrick’s Day you get what you want very much but haven’t wished for. ~Patricia Lynch
Ask children what St. Patrick’s Day is all about and many will talk of leprechaun traps or wearing green to not get pinched. Adults see the day as an occasion to celebrate, sometimes with green beer. Few people really know what they are celebrating or why the holiday is so important. Today, we are going to deviate from all things dental and share some facts about St. Patrick’s Day!
- Saint Patrick is a saint of the Catholic Church, and his holy day is the day of his death, and subsequent entrance to heaven, rather than the day of his physical birth.
- Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, even though he was born in Wales. As a boy, Saint Patrick was captured and taken to Ireland where he spent six years in slavery herding sheep.
- Saint Patrick returned to Ireland in his 30’s as a missionary. He used the shamrock as a symbol of the holy trinity when preaching and brought the Latin alphabet to Ireland.
- The shamrock is a popular Irish symbol, but it is not the symbol of Ireland.
- Legend says Saint Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland. In reality, this probably did not happen, as there is no evidence that snakes have ever existed in Ireland,
- The original color associated with Saint Patrick is blue…green was considered unlucky. Saint Patrick’s blue was considered symbolic of Ireland for many centuries and the Irish Presidential Standard is still blue.
- Aside from the color green, the activity most often associated with St. Patrick’s Day is drinking. However, from 1903-1970, Irish law declared St. Patrick’s Day a religious observance for the entire country meaning that all pubs were shut down for the day.
- The world’s first recorded St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place in Boston on March 18, 1737 followed by the New York Parade, which first took place in 1762. While the largest parade in the US is in New York, the largest celebration in the southern hemisphere is in Sydney, Australia.
- In Chicago every year, the Plumbers Local 110 union dyes the river “Kelly” green. The dye lasts for about five hours.
- Around 34 million modern Americans claim Irish ancestry. Genealogical research website Ancestry.com is making 10 million Catholic parish records from Ireland — some dating to 1655 — available online for free to help people trace their Irish heritage.
The McGann Facial Design team hopes that you have enjoyed our tribute to Saint Patrick. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!