Happy St. Patrick's Day
As you stroll around in your green attire, looking for those four-leaved clovers and the pot of gold, here are some fun facts and myths about St. Patrick's Day, one of the most popular (and fun) holidays celebrated by people all over the world, every year on March 17th.
Though it marks the anniversary of the death of the Patron Saint of Ireland, St Patrick, was not Irish but born in England and kidnapped to Ireland at the age of 16, as a slave!
First St. Patrick's Day Parade
While the festival is now a four-day affair in Ireland, and Dublin, is home to the world's biggest parade, the first parade was held on the streets of Boston in 1732, to help Irish soldiers serving in American colonies to reconnect with their country. Today, the New York City Parade is the biggest one outside of Ireland, though the most fun celebration is in Chicago, where they dye the Chicago River green!
Blue Not Green, Was the Original Color
The original color associated with St. Patrick is blue, and is still the color on the Irish flag and the uniforms of the Irish Guards. it is believed that over the years, it changed to green, to commemorate St. Patrick's use of the shamrock in his holy teachings.
Finding That Lucky Four-Leaved Clover
In case you don't find that four-leaved clover today, don't fret. Did you know that only one in 10,000 clovers have four leaves? According to Irish folklore, each leaf means something - the first represents hope, the second represents faith, the third represents love and the fourth represents happiness.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest number of leaves recorded on a clover leaf is 14!
How to Catch that Sneaky Leprechaun
According to Irish mythology, the Leprechaun, (whose name comes from the mixture of 'small person' and 'one shoemaker') is a small fairy that knows the location of a pot of gold. But to get to that, you have to find and catch him and threaten him, to get to the gold. According to the Irish, the best way to find this sneaky little guy is to catch him while he is repairing shoes - and even after that be careful, for he is crafty enough to escape!
President Obama is Partly Irish!
Celebrating the day in meetings and exchanging traditional shamrocks with Ireland's Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, President Obama revealed that he was also a tiny bit Irish, thanks to his mother's Irish heritage.
The Obama family will continue their celebrations this evening with a reception, featuring a traditional Irish band. Also, in memory of the 'green' river in Chicago, for the first time in its history, the water in the White House fountains has been tinted green for the day!
Happy clover and Leprechaun hunting to all of you on this St. Patrick's Day, and be sure to write in, if you do find that pot of gold!
Sources: about.com, kaboose.com, Foxnews.com