4 St. Patrick's Day Myths and the Truths Behind Them

10:37 AM

St. Patrick's Day Myths

If you're already planning to wear green, watch a parade and enjoy some beer for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday, you should probably get your facts straight about the Irish holiday that has become so popular across the country. While I enjoy St. Patrick's Day celebrations as much as the next person, I also enjoy learning the truth behind the holiday and more about Irish history. 

St. Patrick Was Not Irish

That's right- the man behind the day wasn't even Irish. He was actually taken prisoner by the Irish. St. Patrick was born in England around the year 390.When he was 16 years old he was enslaved by Irish raiders who took him to Ireland and held him captive for six years. St. Patrick escaped and went back to England, went to religious school, and then returned to Ireland as a missionary.

Green Was Not the St. Patrick’s Day Historical Color

Many people think that green is the color of the day because of the lush greens found in the Irish hillsides, but the knights in the Order of St. Patrick wore blue. The green color didn't actually come in to play until around the 18th century.


There Technically is No Luck O' the Irish

Irish are historically unlucky, and it must carry through the generations, because the same could be said for myself. The tradition of saying "Luck o' the Irish" was actually done in a sarcastic manner pointing out how "unlucky" they really are. However, in parts of the gold rush in the 19th century, many of the most successful gold miners were Irish or of Irish heritage, which further led to the use of the term "the luck of the Irish."

Four Leaf Clovers Are a Symbol of the Day

Four-leaf clovers are really not as rare as people may think, they are a genetic abnormality, and there is no association with the clover to the man behind the day. It is a symbol of luck simply because it was commercialized to be so. Some people think that it is actually pagan in nature and that would go against what St. Patrick taught, although it makes sense for the Irish celebration. In order to get the pagans of Ireland to convert, many church leaders incorporated some of the pagan traditions into Christian customs to lure pagans to Christianity. St. Patrick actually used a three leaf shamrock to demonstrate the trilogy of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

While St. Patrick's Day celebrations are a fun time to don green clothing, have a few drinks and maybe even cheer on a parade, there is far more behind this historic holiday than most people know. 

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18 comments

  1. Hahhaha wow they are normally un-lucky!!! That is too funny, I guess maybe with this holiday they will have the luck they need!!

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  2. A few years ago I did a study with the kids on St. Patricks day for school, I should do it again with the younger ones......

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  3. These are interesting facts! I'm surprised he isn't Irish with a name like Patrick :) I didn't know about the luck of the Irish being a sarcastic term! I used to try to find a four leaf clover, knowing it was a genetic anomaly and could be randomly found, but never have. I suspect people now grow them that way because they can be hard to find..I wonder why there was never a five leaf or two leaf clover :)

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  4. Blue? What the heck? I'm going to pretend I didn't know that. It just seems wrong! ;)

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  5. I love this! I'll share it with my son tomorrow. And I remember looking for four leaf clovers... I have found a few over the years. :)

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  6. I learned about the 'real' St. Patrick from Veggie Tales :) But that really is interesting how St. Patrick's Day evolved so differently from who St. Patrick was isn't it?

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  7. love celebrating St. Patrick's day. Hubbys aunt puts out the best food spread. Thanks for the truths about the holiday

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  8. I am a LOT Irish and definitely don't consider myself lucky overall :)

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  9. This was great! I knew #1 but not the others! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I knew most of these, but wasn't aware St. Patrick's original associated color was blue. Interesting, guess we should be making Blue cupcakes...lol

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  11. Very interesting, I never knew any of this and I am half Irish :-)

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  12. Very interesting. I never would have thought of blue..

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  13. Thanks so much for sharing these. I've always wondered about some of these. Now I know!

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  14. I knew about the blue. It is an interesting holiday since there is really nothing much to it other than wearing green to not be pinched. Sounds like a weird holiday when you think about it LOL.

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  15. These are some really interesting facts. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. You can learn a lot but actually researching many of the days people regularly celebrate. It's mind-boggling how the origins are from the traditions held today.

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  17. How funny- it's like everything I knew about the holiday was a lie! I wonder what made them switch from blue to green.

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