St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts

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St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts

Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration that happens annually on 17 March to mark the death date of the most commonly-recognised patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. It is also a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Newfoundland, and Labrador and Montserrat. The color green, pots of gold, shamrock, and leprechaun are often associated with the celebration.

See the fact file below for more information on the Saint Patrick’s Day or alternatively, you can download our 43-page Saint Patrick’s Day worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.

Key Facts & Information

KEY FACTS

  • St. Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day celebrating the patron saint the day is named after. It is a national holiday of Ireland and is usually celebrated on March 17.
  • It has become a popular holiday in the United States. People wear green and eat corned beef and cabbage.
  • It is believed St. Patrick, a Roman-Britain-born Christian missionary, was born in the late fourth century and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish people.
  • It is also believed St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. However, post-glacial Ireland never actually had snakes. Many believe that the term “snakes” referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place. Today, there are no snakes to be found!
  • Most people, whether they are Irish or not, wear green on this day. One of the Irish traditions is to pinch anyone who is not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Irish immigrants began observing the holiday in Boston in 1737 and the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City in 1766.
  • Corned beef and cabbage are traditional foods eaten on this holiday. The shamrock, pots of gold, and leprechauns are also associated with St. Patrick’s Day. The shamrock was worn as a badge on the lapel. Three is Ireland’s magic number and the three leaves that make up the shamrock are supposed to bring good luck. They also represent the Holy Trinity in the Christian religion.
  • The leprechaun is a small Irish fairy. He is dressed like a shoemaker, with pointed shoes and a hat. He also wears a leather apron. Leprechauns are supposed to be unfriendly little men who live alone in the forest, spending all of their time making shoes and guarding their treasures.
  • If someone catches a leprechaun, he will be forced to tell where he hides all his pots of gold. However, the leprechaun must be watched at all times. If his captor looks away, the leprechaun will vanish along with his treasure.

AS A RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL OBSERVANCE

  • Saint Patrick is known as the Apostle of Ireland, who brought Christianity to Ireland.
  • According to Irish lore, the day could have been St. Maewyn’s Day because it was Patrick’s birth name before he adopted Patricius after becoming a priest.
  • Many Catholic churches move the date of the Feast of Saint Patrick if March 17 falls during Holy Week.
  • In 1737, the Feast of Saint Patrick was first celebrated in the United States by Irish immigrants. By 1762, New York City held the first official parade and, over time, it’s become one of the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades.
  • Since 1962, the Chicago River is dyed kelly green during the celebration. Forty tons of dye is dumped into the river which changes color for four to five hours.
  • The shamrock is Ireland’s national flower. It is also one of the main symbols of St. Patrick, which represents the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed plant is often used as a badge.
  • It’s a common mistake to confuse a four-leaf clover and a shamrock. The four-leaf clover is considered lucky because they’re generally hard to find.
  • A popular pastime of St. Patrick’s Day is for adults to drink green beer. Around the world, millions of pints of beer are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day, amounting to more than $245 million!

Saint Patrick’s Day Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Saint Patrick’s Day across 43 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Saint Patrick’s Day worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Saint Patrick’s Day which is a cultural and religious celebration that happens annually on 17 March to mark the death date of the most commonly-recognised patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. It is also a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Newfoundland, and Labrador and Montserrat. The color green, pots of gold, shamrock, and leprechaun are often associated with the celebration.

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