We all love to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, don’t we? Even if we don’t have Irish roots, many pretend to be Irish for a day…usually to partake in green beer. But there are some things about Saint Patrick’s Day that you probably don’t know?
1. It is estimated that there are one million Irish people living abroad.
2. Following the Great Fire which levelled much of the city’s central peninsula on June 20th, 1877, Saint John was rebuilt almost exclusively by Irish labour.
3. St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, and he wasn’t born in Ireland. Patrick’s parents were Roman citizens living in modern-day England, or more precisely in Scotland or Wales (scholars cannot agree on which). He was born in 385 AD. By that time, most Romans were Christians and the Christian religion was spreading rapidly across Europe. So, maybe we should celebrating Tartan Day on April 6th with good ole Saint Patty. (Oh, and I did I mention that Saint Patrick’s Day only started in 1970 versus Tartan Day that started as a result of action in 1320?)
4.The original colour associated with St. Patrick is blue, not green as commonly believed. In several artworks depicting the saint, he is shown wearing blue vestments. King Henry VIII used the Irish harp in gold on a blue flag to represent the country. Since that time, and possibly before, blue has been a popular colour to represent the country on flags, coats-of-arms, and even sports jerseys.
Green was associated with the country later, presumably because of the greenness of the countryside, which is so because Ireland receives plentiful rainfall. Today, the country is also referred to as the “Emerald Isle.” (source same as #3)
5. Corned beef and cabbage, Saint Patrick’s Day staple, doesn’t have anything to do with the grain corn. Instead, it’s a nod to the large grains of salt that were historically used to cure meats, which were also known as “corns.”
6. Did you know that the stainless steel DeLorean car was designed and built in Ireland? It was.
7. Did you know that nearly 19% of New Brunswickers have Irish roots? (Not me though…I am Scottish…could you tell?)
What’s your did you know? We would love to hear?