This week, the music group Celtic Woman will be touring with us here in Rochester, NY. Even though St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, we have everything Celtic on the brain with the upcoming concert, so we thought it’d be fun to dig into the holiday’s roots! Parades, corned beef and guinness, music, dancing, and green everywhere you looked, St. Patty’s Day this year was, once again, a euphoric day for celebrating Irish history and traditions world-wide. Downtown Rochester held its annual parade highlighting Irish line dancers, law enforcement agencies, flags, and more, while the streets were lined with people of all ages and heritages cheering on the performers.
In short, St. Patrick’s Day is intended to observe and remember the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Throughout the 5th century, he became an integral part of the Irish heritage through his service across the country. The Irish have made this day a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. Traditionally, Irish families would celebrate the day by attending church in the morning and celebrating in the afternoon as prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived. The traditions have continued to this day with greater and grander celebrations.
Here are some facts you didn’t know about St. Patrick’s Day:
- The original color was blue. In 1798, when the clover became the Irish symbol of nationalism, and wearing green on lapels became common practice among the Irish, green became the holiday’s color.
- Patrick’s Day parades started in the United States. The parades with the largest attendance are:
- NYC, at over 2 million
- Chicago, at over 1 million
- Boston, ranging from 600K to 1 million
- There are more individuals of Irish decent in America than in Ireland. An estimated 34 million Americans have Irish ancestry; some of which are pure-blood Irish. On the contrary, there are 4.2 million people living in Ireland.
- It used to be a dry holiday (we’re not kidding). Celebrated traditionally as a religious holiday, pubs nationwide were closed. By 1970, the holiday was converted into a national celebratory day in and the taps started flowing again.
- Merrymakers love their beer. In 2012, the estimated amount spent on beer climbed to $245 million. Furthermore, Guinness sales on St. Patrick’s Day soar to 13 million pints. Talk about some happy breweries!
- Rivers run green with 45 Pounds of dye!
- There is a 1 in 10,000 chance of finding a four-leaf clover.
Saint Patrick’s Day is a time of celebration, fun, family, and traditions. In fact, approximately 149 million Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every year. L-Tron took part in this year’s celebration with an in-office party and beer:thirty. You can read more about it here.
Did you learn anything new about St. Patrick’s Day? How did you celebrate this year? Share with us on Twitter at @LTronCorp!