11 Myths About St. Patrick’s Day Debunked

Every holiday tradition has a few myths that get passed down. Who exactly was St. Patrick, anyway? Was he a real guy? Is green really what you’re supposed to wear? Find out what’s real — and what’s not — about St. Patrick’s Day.

 

  1. St. Patrick was Irish. Well, sort of. Patrick was born in what is now the England, Scotland, and Wales, and was enslaved by Irish raiders when he was a teenager. Then he fled to England where he eventually became a missionary.

 

  1. Green is St. Patrick’s Day color. Knights in the Order of St. Patrick actually wore a shade of blue. The association between Ireland and green most likely comes from the 18th century, when Irish independence supporters used green as the color of their cause.

 

  1. St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. When Patrick was preaching in Ireland, Pope Celestine supposedly sent a bishop to Irishmen already believing in Christ. Hence, it looks as though some folks already had converted before Patrick  arrived.

 

  1. St. Patrick’s Day fun started in Ireland. Until the 1700s, St. Patrick’s Day was only in Ireland, but it was a Catholic feast that was somber and mostly about quiet prayer. Once Irish immigrants came to the U.S. and organized parades, the St. Patrick’s Day we know evolved into a party fest.

 

  1. St. Patrick banished snakes. Legend says St. Patrick drove out Ireland’s snakes after delivering a hillside sermon. That’s a lot less likely because of Patrick, and more likely because of the fact that Ireland is an island, preventing snakes from slithering in.

 

  1. Corned beef is a classic holiday dish. In Ireland, they actually eat a bacon that’s similar to ham. Corned beef supposedly became popular after Irish immigrants in New York who bought it from their Jewish neighbors because it was cheaper than pork.

 

  1. St. Patrick’s Day is about parades. The parades you see in major cities are purely American made. Until the 1970s, it was a pretty quiet affair in Ireland. But in Chicago, they started dying the river green in 1962, and it’s been tradition since.

 

  1. Shamrocks are a symbol of luck. Originally, clovers weren’t even an Irish symbol. However, legend has it that St. Patrick used three-leaf clovers to teach others about the Holy Trinity in Christianity.

 

  1. Leprechauns are a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. Actually, these mythical fairy creatures have nothing to do with the holiday. Before the 20th century, in fact, leprechauns traditionally wore red, not green!

 

  1. St. Patrick’s Day is a big drinking holiday. Even after things started to change in Ireland, bars were actually closed on March 17th because it fell right in the middle of Lent, when you weren’t supposed to be drinking.

 

  1. St. Patrick is a saint. He’s never actually been formally canonized! Back in the day, saints weren’t chosen by the Vatican, but with locals. Although he’s recognized in a holy day, no one, including the pope, ever technically named him a saint.

 

The post 11 Myths About St. Patrick’s Day Debunked appeared first on Karma Kiss Blog.

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