Myth: Popular St. Patrick's Day Festivities Originate from IrelandFact: St. Patrick’s Day was a Roman Catholic holiday only observed in Ireland until the 1700s. The faithful spent the relatively somber occasion in quiet prayer at church or at home. Only when Irish immigrants living in the United States began organizing parades and other events on March 17 as a show of pride, did it begin to evolve into the culture it is now known for today.
Myth: St. Patrick was IrishFact: Though one of Ireland’s patron saints, Patrick was born in what is now England to a Christian deacon and his wife. According to the traditional narrative, St. Patrick was enslaved by Irish raiders who attacked his home. They took him to Ireland and held him captive there for several years. Patrick later escaped and fled to England, where he received religious instruction before returning to Ireland to serve as a missionary.
Myth: St. Patrick Banished Snakes from the Emerald IsleFact: Legends state that Patrick stood on an Irish hillside and delivered a sermon
that drove the island’s serpents into the sea. While it’s true that the Emerald Isle is snake-free, water surrounds Ireland, preventing snakes from migrating there. Before it became surrounded by water, it was blanketed in ice and too chilly for the cold-blooded creatures. Scholars believe the snake story is an allegory for St. Patrick’s eradication of pagan ideology.
Myth: Green is Associated with St. Patrick's DayFact: While Ireland is known for its lush green landscapes, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. In fact, the knights of the Order of St. Patrick wore blue. The correlation with green representing St. Patrick's day more than likely dates back to the 1790s, when the Society of United Irishmen launched a rebellion to end British rule and found an independent Irish republic. Their flag was green, the color that came to represent the side fighting for Irish independence.
Follow us on Twitter
Connect with us on LinkedIn
Subscribe to our Blog