St. Patrick’s Day, the national day of Ireland, is coming up later this month. But how much do you know about this holiday, other than the fact that the number Americans of Irish descent seems to increase dramatically in March?
We’re all about education at Carrington College California, and although this info probably won’t help you with your Veterinary Technology, Vocational Nursing or Criminal Justice program (or any other for that matter!) you might impress your friends with your superior knowledge of this 1000 year old holiday!
For example, did you know that St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish? He was born in Britain over 1600 years ago to an aristocratic Christian family. As a young boy Patrick professed no interest in Christianity but aged 16 his world turned. He was kidnapped, enslaved and sent to tend sheep in Ireland for seven years.
He found religion during his enslavement and became a very deeply believing Christian. According to folklore, a voice came to him in his sleep and told him to escape. He found passage back to Britain on a pirate ship, and was reunited with his family. The voice then told him to go back to Ireland; he was ordained as a priest and returned to spend the rest of his life trying to convert the Irish to Christianity.
Here are lots more St. Paddy’s Day facts that are sure to impress!
- Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint of Ireland.
- St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 every year, the saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of Patrick’s death in the fifth century.
- Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish people.
- The Irish have observed St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years.
- Until the 1970s in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was a minor religious holiday. A priest would acknowledge the feast day, and families would celebrate with a big meal.
- St. Patrick’s Day was basically invented in America by Irish-Americans.
- The first parade held to honor St. Patrick’s Day took place in New York City on March 17, 1762.
- Irish soldiers serving in the English army marched in that NYC parade, the music and festivities helping them reconnect with their roots.
- In 1848, several parade societies united to form an official New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
- Today, that parade is the world ‘s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the U.S., with more than 150,000 parade participants.
- More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States.
- Sixteen communities in the U.S. share the name of Ireland’s capital. Dublin, CA, just ten miles east of our San Leandro campus has the largest population.
- 34.7 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry – More than seven times the population of Ireland!
- In 1759, a gentleman named Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on an unused brewery at St. James’s Gate, Dublin. Which is still home to the world famous brew.
- More than 13 million pints of the brew will be poured worldwide on St. Patrick’s Day, that’s more than double the normal consumption!
- Maybe that’s why the Monday after St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in Ireland. Now that’s a good idea!
Will you be dressing in green? Or eating plates of corn beef & cabbage? Perhaps you’re off to a St. Paddy’s Day party? Whatever you do, be sure to slip a couple of these green nuggets into your conversation!
Program availability varies by location.