Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patrick Day Afterthoughts

St. Patrick's Day was not really celebrated much in Ireland until the 1970's -- and only then because the American tourists expected it. (Until 1995, the pubs in Dublin were closed on St. Patrick's Day.)

St. Patrick was not Irish by birth. He was the son of an English aristocrat who was kidnapped and sold in Ireland as a slave. He escaped back to England, but then went back to Ireland after being made a priest.

St. Patrick may have invented the custom that women could propose to men in a Leap Year. (Al Capp created Li'l Abner

The Irish area of St. Louis is called Dogtown either because during the 1904 World's Fair dogs were kept there to feed natives brought from Pacific Islands or because the early Irish settlers had guard dogs. Your pick.

St. Patrick was never canonized by a Pope, but he is on the Catholic Church's List of Saints.

St. Patrick did not drive the snakes from Ireland. There never were any.

His favorite color was blue.


sleepyrn said...

Blue? Now how does anyone know his favorite color?

Even though I have a large percentage of Irish blood in me I NEVER wear green on St Patrick's day, have never had a sip of green beer, or spoken in a stupid brogue. Like the REAL Irish, i find the whole mess some what offensive.

If St Patrick would drive all the snakes out of coastal SC rivers and swamps I would be eternally grateful.

Jim said...

Sleep -- all older images of St. Patrick show him wearing blue garments -- "St. Patrick's Blue" is still officially the color on the the flag of the President of Ireland and the Coat of arms of Ireland. It also appears in the part of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom representing Northern Ireland. In these uses, it is a gold harp on a dark blue field -- St. Patrick would never have worn green, it was the color associated with Fairies and Leprechauns (who could force you to become one of the Wee Folks if you wore green).

Catholic priest are not supposed to wear green vestments on St. Patrick's Day (because it's Lent).

Amy in StL said...

Not that it's a big deal; but dogtown is probably named that because of all the miners that lived in the area and worked the small mines in the area. Only non-natives believe that crap about the name having to do with the world's fair.