St. Patricks day is celebrated by 80 million people in 200 countries. You’re probably one of them. St. Patricks day was first celebrated as an anual religious feast on the day of his death in 461 A.D. The holiday has certainly evolved in the past 1500 years, so much so that the patron Saint of Ireland would likely not have any clue what was going on. Here are 5 reasons why.
Green was not the original color associated with St. Patrick
It was blue until the 19th century. The clover he used in sermons was green, and the snakes might have been, but we’ll get to that later.
Originally, the clover associated with the holiday was used in sermons to describe the connection of the holy trinity. Now the symbol has become secularized as it is used as a symbol of Irish heritage and mating potential.
He wasn’t even Irish
St. Patrick was born with the name Maewyn Succat and lived in England until he was a teenager. He had Scottish and Welsh ancestors and was sold into slavery in Ireland as a young man. Not exactly what you expected?
I’m tired of these shamrock eating snakes, on this snake infested island!
Except there were no snakes for St. Patrick to drive away as legend tells. Geologists and Biologists have studied glacial records from the time he lived, and there is no evidence of a snake problem in Ireland in the 5th century.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Corned beef and cabbage are widely eaten on St. Patricks day in America, but this is not the case for other countries. There is nothing to connect St. Patrick and these foods.
Some of these new traditions have explanations, some are not known as well. But one thing is certain, St. Patrick would have no idea what was going on if he fell into a St. Patrick’s day parade and decided to stop at the pub on the way home. He may even feel awkward enough to celebrate too, and think to himself, “Man that St. Patrick must have been a pretty cool guy”.