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13 things you didn’t know about st.Patrick’s day

13 things you didn’t know about st.Patrick’s day

13 things you didn’t know about st.Patrick’s day

On March 17, we all feel a little Irish. Although St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday in only a handful of places, such as the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, Labrador and Monserrat, "Irishness" is celebrated all over the world. We have collected 13 curiosities about St. Patrick's Day to help you impersonate the Irish in you.

The legend

St. Patrick is the patron saint, as you know, of green Ireland. The religious festival was born 1500 years ago: according to belief, the Saint brought Christianity to the island using a clover and freed the island from snakes. He died on March 17, just when St. Patrick's Day is celebrated.

St. Patrick and beer

The link between St. Patrick and beer, which many now take for granted, is not at all. In fact, St. Patrick's Day usually falls during Lent: which means that the religious holiday has always been observed, without the raids that characterize it today. But in 1960, a law allowed pubs to stay open for St. Patrick's Day: and literally liters of blonde (or dark, or red) drink flowed by.

Patrick who?

St. Patrick was not called Patrick at birth, but Maewyn Succat. Unbelievable to say, but the patron saint of Ireland was actually English. Legend has it that he was sold as a slave on the Green Island as a boy but, managed to escape to England, was ordained a priest with the name of Patrick and began converting the Irish to Christianity.

St. Patrick and the snakes

Another story about St. Patrick says that he would have rid Ireland of snakes. Yet, according to biologists, there have never been any snakes in Ireland. Perhaps with "snakes" we mean the pagan divinities, defeated by St. Patrick.

The clover

But how did he bring Christianity to the Celts? It seems that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). And since the ancient Irish believed that every clover leaf had a meaning, the method worked perfectly. So St. Patrick founded churches, schools and monasteries and the clover has become the symbol of the island.

We celebrate in green...

Around the world, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated with the color green: not only clothes, but also food, sweets, beer, and anything to which dye can be added, turn green. And not only that: rivers, monuments and even ski resorts are tinged with green to celebrate the holiday.

...But he liked blue

It will certainly be a big disappointment, but it seems that Patrizio did not love the color green as much as the blue. There is also evidence in this regard in the ancient Irish flags. But during the 1798 Rebellion, wearing the shamrock and the color green became symbols of nationalism: hence the symbolism of color and tradition.

The biggest St Patrick's Day parades? Not in Ireland

One of the typical customs for St Patrick's Day is to participate in a parade. In Ireland? Also, but not only: the largest parades in fact take place outside, because Irish immigrant communities around the world are perhaps even more zealous in celebrating the holiday.

Full pints

Drinking Guinness on St Patrick's Day is now a tradition. And it is such a strong tradition that consumption triples, from 5.5 million pints in an ordinary day to 13 million: a good 150 pints per second.

Beef and cabbage

Corned beef and cabbage: it doesn't look like much, in fact, compared to grandma's pasta. Yet it is a traditional dish that goes very well with beer, even if it was first created by Irish immigrants in New York. And they continue to love the dish even today: in the United States, almost 10 million tons of beef and over seven hundred thousand tons of cabbage are cooked in the United States during St. Patrick's Day.

America Has More Irish Than Ireland

According to a US Census, there are more Irish people in America than there are in Ireland. As of 2003, more than 34 million Americans had Irish ancestry. The population of Ireland is just more than four million people.

The Chicago River Isn't Always That Green

In celebration of the shamrock and the Emerald Isle itself, American St. Patrick's Day partygoers like to turn things green. One well-known dye job happens every year in Chicago when the city dyes its river green. This tradition began in 1962 when the parade organizer, head of a plumbers ’union, noticed that the dye that had been used to find sources of river pollution stained his clothing green. He thought it would be a great idea to use enough dye to turn the whole river green for the city's St. Patrick's Day celebration. Researchers say the environmental impact of the dye is less than that of the pollution from sewage-treatment plants.

St. Patrick’s well

There is a saying: "It is like St. Patrick's Well", to refer to something that requires effort, especially economic energy but does not produce the desired results. But let's take a step back: we are in the Middle Ages and we are in Ireland, near Lough Derg, a small lake in County Donegal. On the islet of Sation in the middle of the lake there was a cave where St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, used to gather in prayer. He had chosen this as the ideal place for his meditation. The cave was used by St. Patrick to invite and involve the most incredulous faithful: if they had had the courage to venture into that cave and get to the bottom, in exchange they would have obtained the remission of sins and access to Paradise. The cave soon became a pilgrimage destination and remained so until 1497, when Pope Alexander VI imposed the closure of the cave. It was later reopened and then closed again by the Irish government in 1632. Finally, it was reopened again by King James II and closed for the last time in 1780. This is the legend, but now we come to us. Is there a well of San Patrizio in Italy and why is it so called? Certainly, it is that of Orvieto, in Umbria, a beautiful and suggestive town in the province of Terni. The well is a unique engineering example in the world of perfect architectural harmony. Built in 1527 by Antonio from Sangallo at the behest of Pope Clement VII, the well was built to guarantee water to the town of Orvieto at any time of the year, in case of disaster or for a prolonged state of siege. Pope Clement VII ordered the construction of the well during his stay in Orvieto: taking refuge in the city during the sack of Rome, he entrusted the project to the brilliant architect who carried out a real hydraulic engineering work. With a circular section, the well is 62 meters deep and 13 meters wide. Two spiral staircases spiral around the barrel, designed in such a way as to run superimposed on each other without ever crossing each other. The ingenious helical system of steps in fact allowed the pack animals used to transport water drawn from the bottom of the cavity, not to hinder the path of those who went up to the surface. 248 are the steps for each climb: as you descend the light, penetrating through the 72 windows distributed along the entire length of the well, becomes more suffused. The twilight reveals a small bridge that connects the two stairways: the water emerges at the bottom, fed by the source of San Zeno. The well is located near the Etruscan temple of Belvedere and the fortress, known as the "Albornoz Fortress". The well was designed for combined use with the fortified fortress and for this reason, at the time of its construction, it was called the "Well of the Rock". Only during the nineteenth century did it take the current name of St. Patrick's Well, to symbolize the spiritual path of the human soul, as indicated by the legend of the Irish saint, guardian of the bottomless cave, the well, in which the faithful could convince themselves of the atrocities of the pains of hell and ask for the forgiveness of sins. Over the years, the well became a real attraction for all visitors who passed through Orvieto and it has remained so to this day.

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