In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we decided to share some little known facts about St. Patrick, how and why we celebrate him on March 17th each year,
- St. Patrick was actually born a Roman Brittain, and was kidnapped and brought to Ireland. He is the patron saint of Ireland, who passed on March 17th. Hence, why that is the day of his Feast.
- According to history.com, “There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.” That means that celebrating Irish heritage is important to many Americans.
- The holiday was created in America by Irish-Americans hoping to preserve their heritage. It wasn’t until later that the Irish in Ireland took on the holiday celebration, as well.
- Also according to “History,” there are more than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States. With New York City and Boston being home to the largest celebrations.
- In Chicago, they even dye the river green for the big day!
- The dance form we know as Irish is actually called the Irish Step Dance. Irish Step Dance has been around since the 17th century, and in 1929, the An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (The Irish Dancing Commission) was formed in order to codify and standardize step dancing competition and education. (Via Wikipedia)
- Irish dancing came to the forefront of pop culture in 1994 with Riverdance, a touring performance led by Michael Ryan Flatley. Here is a clip from Riverdance:
- The dance is characterized by fast moving foot work, done in both soft and hard shoe, upright posture and superb rhythmic interpretation. The accompaniment of high energy music makes Irish Step Dancing engaging and high quality entertainment.
The best way you can celebrate this beloved holiday is by wearing green, reading Irish folklore, listening to Celtic music or Irish punk, consuming Irish foods and drinks, educating yourself about the Irish-American history, and even exploring some Irish dance of your own!
How will you be celebrating this year?
Happy St. Patrick’s day!