St. Patrick’s Day, the most well-known and adored Irish holiday, marks the formal start of spring. And since winter is almost over, here are some intriguing facts about this beautiful holiday that you have to know! 

  1. Every year on the 17th of March, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated. The event commemorates St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint on the day of his death, and honors the country’s culture.  
  2. St. Patrick is believed to be born in the 4th century in Roman Britain, today’s Great Britain. During his life, he was a bishop, then an arch-bishop and after his death he was declared a saint.
  3. While there are several legends surrounding St. Patrick, the most famous is the one that explains his connection to the shamrock, Ireland’s national symbol. As a Christian missionary, it is reported that he utilized the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to pagans, thus preaching Christianity to non-believers. According to another legend, he is the reason why Ireland is one of the few countries without snakes, since he is claimed to have expelled them all from the island. 
  4. This holiday is celebrated not only in Ireland, but also in many countries all across the world, especially the ones where there is a large Irish diaspora or the nations that have strong diplomatic connections with Ireland like the USA, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and others.
  5. Some of these countries even have annual traditions that they follow. It is, for example, a yearly custom in Chicago, where the Irish diaspora numbers over 200,000 people, to dye the Chicago Rover a bright green color. Others, such as the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, use a shamrock hue to illuminate their most important tourist attractions for the day. 
  6. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national holiday!
  7.  It is traditional for people to give gifts to their relatives and friends on that day, even the non-Irish ones. Gifts featuring Celtic and national symbols, such as shamrock bracelets, Claddagh rings, Trinity knot pendants, and garments made of local wool, like the famed Aran sweaters, cardigans, and home décor pieces, are the most sought for. People usually shop from local companies on this occasion to support their local businesses, so if you’re searching for authentic Irish St. Patrick’s Day gifts, choose to support Irish brands and stores.
  8. On this day, there are some specific foods that are made and eaten. People tend to either go eat out in Irish bars, or celebrate the day at home. Some of these dishes include the traditional corned beef, shepherd’s pie, soda bread, and of course lots of authentic beer such as Guinness. 
  9. Foods and beverages are often colored in green for this holiday, so don’t be surprised if you’ll receive a bright green cupcake or a glass of cold, green beer.
  10. Parades, costumes, body painting, traditional instruments, dances, and a loud concert with live music are all part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in most places, which makes it the perfect holiday to celebrate with your friends, family members, and even kids.