From all of us at American University of Health Sciences (AUHS), Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today, people around the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with green-themed parties, food and parades. This holiday had been celebrated in Ireland for over a thousand years in observance of the Catholic feast day of St. Patrick, who died on March 17, 461. St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day was officially recognized as a celebration of Irish culture in the 1970’s.
Here are ten interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about this vividly green, Irish-themed holiday!
- Patrick’s birth name was Maewyn Succat. He was born in the late 4th century in Britain.
- When he was 16 years old, Irish raiders attacked Patrick’s family’s estate and took him prisoner. They transported him to Ireland where he was held captive for six years.
- During his captivity, St. Patrick began to have dreams of and visions of angels and the voice of God, telling him to convert Irish people to Christianity.
- Patrick used the shamrock to preach about the Holy Trinity. He explained how just like the three leaves of the shamrock, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could be separate entities, yet they are one in the same.
- Patrick’s color is blue, not green. There are several artworks depicting the saint in blue robes.
- There are more than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades held in the United States; the biggest celebrations are in New York City and Boston.
- Chicago began the annual tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green on Saint Patrick’s Day in 1962.
- There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry which is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City when Irish soldiers serving in the English military on March 17, 1762.
- There is no such thing as a female leprechaun, according to Irish folklore.
AUHS is a private, for-profit, minority owned, minority serving, Christian-based university whose mission is to educate and equip students with life careers and to produce quality health care professionals for the community, the nation, and the world. It is a university where appreciation of life and one’s spiritual reason for existence can be nurtured.
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