St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious feast during the 17th century in observance of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Fast-forward to the 21st century, and St. Patrick’s Day, at least in North America, is hardly quarantined to a feast.
Instead, people gather outside with shamrocks painted on their faces to observe St. Patrick’s Day parades. People gather in Irish pubs and drink green beer while scarfing down Irish stew while listening to the glorious sounds of the fiddle.
But what do you really know about the day?
Green beer is North America’s take on Irish tradition
Turns out, the commercialized green beer is just that – a North American twist on tradition. According to experts, the green-coloured beer is not something you’d see at any pubs in Ireland.
Long parades aren’t for everyone
In Hot Springs, Ark. the city keeps the festivities short and sweet. Clocking in at 98-feet long, this year marks its 15th annual celebration of the ‘World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.’
Meanwhile, in Victoria, residents don’t celebrate with a parade but do host an annual shootaround:
St. Patrick’s Day a stat for some Canadians
In Newfoundland and Labrador, residents will have this upcoming Monday off, marked as an official provincial stat holiday.
We wear green, but St. Patrick preferred light blue
St. Patrick was actually known for his light shade of blue, but after the Irish independence movement the color green became associated with the day. In fact, the green in Ireland’s flag represents its republicanism dating back to the Society of United Irishmen in the 1970s.
Check out how the arena crew in Hope “greened out” their rink:
With files from Vernon Morning Star