> Bless Their Hearts Mom: History Corner: St Patrick's Day- Myths and Reality
Thursday, March 14, 2019

History Corner: St Patrick's Day- Myths and Reality


St Patrick's Day is this weekend!

st patricks greeting


When you have an Irish Dancer in the family, it's really a MONTH long time period, with performances every weekend!

While we all love a great St Patrick's Day celebration- there are some myths about the saint and Irish traditions that are just WRONG!

So we thought we'd share a bit with you!



1. St Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland

Well, no, it's really an allegory for Paganism. There are not only NO fossil records of snakes in Ireland, there are NO native snakes. Due to being an ISLAND and farther away from the continent, they just didn't arrive there!

corneed beef plate

2. The Irish eat corned beef and cabbage on St Patrick's Day

Nope and nope. The eat 'bacon', which to us Americans is more of a pork ham or loin. Now in America when the majority of Irish immigrants came, it was easier (and cheaper) to get the slabs of corned beef, versus the pork loin, so it became one of the 'Americanized' traditions. But if you feel the need to keep the American line, this recipe from our friends at Irish Central is da 'craic' and a neat way to make a new tradition!

3. It's Paddy, NOT Patty!

Paddy is derived from the Irish, Pádraig, And is perfectly acceptable. PATTY is what you put on a hamburger bun, of what you call your sister Patricia. You wouldn't call a MALE Saint that!

green tennis shoes

4. Why do we pinch people, if not wearing green?

We ACTUALLY should be wearing BLUE on St Patrick's day, as that is the color associated with him, NOT green! So another issue to blame on the US! The myth of wearing green so leprechauns won't see you (and pinch you) was an Irish immigrant mom's way of keeping the kids in line, and it just held....

5. Danny Boy actually isn't an Irish song!

Nope. It was written by a BRITISH lawyer (!!!!). Yup, Frederick Edward Weatherly set his lyrics to a DIFFERENT tune in 1910. No one has been able so dar to figure out if the lyrics were meant to apply to certain people, but he penned other songs, so it could have just been based on what he heard about! It took a few years before he heard the tune we know now (which was penned by an Irishman, but one who lived in Scotland!) and applied it to the lyrics. So it's really a multi-national song...

irish whiskey


6. Siante has always been a traditional toast

Pronounced SLAHN-chə, it's derived from an Irish word "slán", meaning "healthy" or "safe". So it's become an alternative for the toast for 'Good health!"


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