We’re already helping you have a great St Patrick’s day by showing Ireland vs England in our 360 screen zone, and serving up gallons of lovely, lovely Guinness (and Shamrock).
But we’ve also decided to fill you in on St Paddy’s trivia that will leave your mates gaping in awe at your four leaf clovered wisdom. Let’s start with Paddy himself…
1) Saint Patrick was a snake fighter
Big Pat became a priest in Ireland around the age of 20, and during a 40-day religious fast, he was, according to legend, attacked by a gang of evil sea-snakes.
return of the snakes by bui bold is licensed by CC 2.0
Paddy chased those slimy reptiles back down the hill he was fasting on and straight into the sea. Thus, St Patrick’s day was born, and now we celebrate it by drinking a load of Guinness.
2) Paddy wasn’t actually an Irishman
According to most sources, Saint Patrick was Welsh, having been born into a wealthy Roman-British family.
So how did he end up in Ireland? Well, people realised how cushty his family had it, so a gang of rapscallions decided to kidnap young Pat and drag him off to Ireland at the age of 16. Nice.
3) St Patrick’s Day is an official break from Lent
You know how we said Saint Patrick was undergoing a 40 day fast? Well…
Due to the fact good ol’ Pat banished the snakes while they disturbed him during a Lenten fast, his holiday is recognised as a treat day of sorts for those undertaking Lent…which might be why the day is so associated with alcohol consumption. Although we doubt he was just giving up Jager bombs.
4) Blue is the colour
Green shamrocks, green drinks and in America (of course) green bagels. St Patrick’s Day seems to be all about the green.
Statue of St Patrick by Ronan McCormick by licensed by CC 4.0
But, for many years, blue was the colour originally associated with St Patrick – and green was considered unlucky. So if you want to go full hipster this year, grab your best blue shirt and a bottle of navy food colouring. And then we’ll refuse to serve you blue-coloured drinks.
5) Chicago dyes its river green for St Patrick’s Day
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish diaspora across the world, with the USA a notable inclusion.
St Patrick’s Day, Chicago by Alan Light is licensed by CC 2.0
Of course, it’s not enough for our transatlantic cousins to dye all their food green; the Chicago river is turned this comic-book shade every year, just for Paddy. That can’t be good for the fish.
6) “Drowning the Shamrock” is a mandatory custom
Why would you want to drown a Shamrock, I hear you ask? What’s the sense in throwing away such a lucky plant?
Kilbennan St. Benin’s Church Window St Patrick Detail by Andreas F. Borchert is licensed by CC 3.0
Well, by drown it, we mean you put a shamrock at the bottom of your last drink and down it. Or if you don’t fancy that, chuck it over your shoulder, like you would with salt. Mind you, someone else is gonna have to clear that mess up. Maybe just swallow it, after all.