St Patrick’s Day 2015, Dublin, Ireland ~ Photo credit: Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com) via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC
I thought we would have a little fun today looking at some popular misconceptions surrounding Saint Patrick and Saint Patrick’s Day.
When repeated often enough, it’s amazing how even the smallest premise can become legendary.
I hope you find at least some of these as surprising as I did.
Saint Patrick was Irish.
Despite being the best known, and one of only three Irish patron saints, Saint Patrick was actually born in what is now England.
Saint Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland.
There is strong historical evidence that there were already Christians in Ireland when Saint Patrick began preaching there in the 5th century.
Saint Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland.
Probably not. Ireland is surrounded by water and chances are that snakes never existed there. The legend probably began as a way to illustrate Saint Patrick’s conversion of the pagans to Christianity
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations began in Ireland.
It was Irish immigrants to the United States that began organizing parades and other events to honour Saint Patrick’s Day.
Corned beef is the traditional Irish meal of Saint Patrick’s Day.
No, once again this custom was initiated in the United States where, corned beef, was readily available and cheaper than the “bacon” the Irish traditionally had as a meal.
All is green on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Sorry, the traditional colour associated with Saint Patrick is blue, the colour of the old Irish flag.
The Irish love green beer.
Once again, this custom was “born in the USA.” The Irish don’t drink, and probably never will drink, green beer.
The Chicago River, Saint Patrick’s Day ~ Photo credit: maxintosh via VisualHunt / CC BY
Oh well, whether you drink green beer, eat corned beef or have Irish ancestors isn’t nearly as important as getting out and enjoying the day and celebrating a little Irish culture.
The Irish have a toast that I find most appropriate this time of the year.
“If you’re enough lucky to be Irish…you’re lucky enough.”
Have a very happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!
What are your plans for the day?