The Real Facts Behind the World’s Greenest Holiday

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day With Newfound KnowledgeYou know you need to wear green, tomorrow, and every March 17, if you don’t want to get pinched by coworkers or even strangers on the street. But why? If you would like to know the reason behind this and other St. Patrick’s Day traditions, you’re in luck. Today we’re talking about the legends that began so many beloved St. Patrick’s Day traditions, so you can go to work tomorrow, or any of the celebrations across Tucson, AZ this year, armed with knowledge, and also, definitely wearing green!

The Man Behind the Mayhem

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every March 17. And while it’s now known primarily as an excuse to enjoy rich Irish foods, attend a parade, and to drink Irish stout, the day is actually named for a fifth century saint, St. Patrick, and it began as a sacred Catholic holiday.

Over time it has morphed into what it is today, an internationally celebrated holiday known primarily for insisting folks wear green, and having little to do with the Saint. Still, it can be fun better understanding where some of the most longstanding traditions started.

  • The legendary St. Patrick, though famous for his time in Ireland, was actually born in England. Oh, and not surprisingly, his first name wasn’t originally Saint! It was Maewyn Succat, a son of Roman and British parents, who was actually kidnapped and taken to Ireland, where he later became a missionary.
  • The very first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred, not in Ireland, but in New York City as an opportunity for Irish immigrants to honor their heritage. It took place in 1762. And the first Dublin parade, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, was not hel until 1931.
  • People now commonly think of green, when they think of St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, wearing green has become a primary tradition of the holiday, but the holiday was originally associated with the color blue. As the holiday gained worldwide traction, people began to associate green with it, due to Ireland’s legendary Emerald Isle, and the presence of a vibrant green on the country’s national flag!