St Patrick's Day parade in Montreal green

Image from the Globe and Mail, St. Patrick's Day Parade in Montreal

Happy shamrocks, green beer, ‘Kiss Me, I’m Irish’ tees, clovers, leprechaun hats, jigs and every other Irish cliché you can think of.

Everyone’s favourite excuse to down copious amount of green-coloured beverages, wear unnecessarily green clothing, hats, necklaces and celebrate all hues of Irishness (real or feigned). But did you know that originally the colour associated with St Patrick was blue? A brief history of the man behind the holiday, from the National Geographic, full text here:

St. Patrick was born in 385 AD somewhere along the west coast of Britain, possibly in the Welsh town of Banwen. At age 16, he was captured and sold into slavery to a sheep farmer. He escaped when he was 22 and spent the next 12 years in a monastery. In his 30s he returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. He died at Saul in 461 AD and is buried at Downpatrick.
According to folklore, a voice came to Patrick in his dreams, telling him to escape. He found passage on a pirate ship back to Britain, where he was reunited with his family.
The voice then told him to go back to Ireland where he gets ordained as a priest from a bishop and goes back and spends the rest of his life trying to convert the Irish to Christianity.
Patrick’s work in Ireland was tough—he was constantly beaten by thugs, harassed by the Irish royalty, and admonished by his British superiors.
After he died on March 17, 461, Patrick was largely forgotten.
But slowly, mythology grew up around Patrick. Centuries later he was honored as the patron saint of Ireland.
Thankfully for us, St Patrick is now celebrated annually as part of our tribute to all things Irish.
Check out Google, Ask, Yahoo and Bing’s St. Patrick’s Day doodles here.
– Jessie W.