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March is in full swing, and this means St. Patrick’s Day is coming up! We’re looking forward to seeing your St. Patrick’s Day-themed coupon codes, merchandise and more. In the spirit of the occasion, I’ve included 5 fun facts about this holiday below.
The harp, not the shamrock, is the symbol of Ireland
We love dressing in green and sharing shamrock-themed items around St. Patrick’s Day. I imagine it’s also the time of year where the shamrock emoji gets the most use. To some of us, Ireland is the equivalent of shamrocks and everything green. However, according to Catholic.org, the harp is actually the national symbol of Ireland, adopted after their struggle to become an independent country.
Where did the shamrock come from, then?
Allegedly, St. Patrick used the shamrock — with 3 leaves — to teach others about the symbol of the Holy Trinity in Christianity. Other sources dispute this claim and say this could have been spread by other monks long after St. Patrick passed. However, the 4-leafed clover has also become a symbol of the “luck o’ the Irish”, symbolizing faith, hope, love and luck. (Read more about the differences between shamrocks and four-leafed clovers here.)
Speaking of the Irish, St. Patrick wasn’t Irish at all.
St. Patrick was born as Maewyn Succat to an aristocratic British family. It wasn’t until after he was kidnapped into slavery in Ireland and returned to Britain on a pirate ship that he became a priest. He then changed his name from Maewyn Succat to Patricius. He wasn’t even honored as the patron saint of Ireland until centuries after his death.
It’s true, St. Patrick’s Day is an American holiday
Most people have heard the rumors that St. Patrick’s Day is actually not celebrated in Ireland, but is an American invention and tradition. It’s true, the holiday was originally celebrated in Boston in 1737, by Irish immigrants to connect with their Irish roots. However, according to National Geographic, this U.S. tradition has since reached Ireland who now participates in the festivities as well.
Unsurprisingly, Guinness is the beverage of choice on St. Patrick’s Day
According to Guinness, this beverage has been consumed at every St. Patrick’s Day since 1759. They also share that it will be enjoyed in 150 different countries. How much of this beer is consumed? Approximately 13 million pints… wow!
For more fun (and educational) reading about St. Patrick’s Day, please view the sources below. Have a wonderful week, and may the luck o’ the Irish be with you.
Kim Cashwell has worked for FMTC for over 3 years and is currently an Account Manager at Fresh Press Media. She is currently filling in with Merchant & OPM blog posts and newsletters. Got any questions or just want to introduce yourself? Email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.