On March 17, everyone’s a little Irish, here are some fact about St Patrick’s day that you may not know.
- St Patrick is one of the most famous patron saints of Ireland. He was the one who brought Christianity to the island, made the shamrock fashionable and freed Ireland from snakes. For over 1500 years, the day of his death has been celebrated as a religious holiday, celebrated by all the Irish people.
- Ireland officially started celebrating St Patrick’s day in 1903. Before 1960’s law that allowed pubs to be open on this day, it was a very quiet and religious holiday.
- St Patrick’s day is a religious celebration, which is why for most of the 20th Century, this day was an Alcohol-free holiday. The drinking tradition started in 1970s.
- The first parade took place in 1762 in New-York City. Many Irish emigrated to the City and Irish soldiers decided to parade in the city’s street to celebrate their day.
- St Patrick is not an Irishman but was British born by the name of Maewyn Succat. The legend says that he was sold into slavery in Ireland when he was a teenager. During his slavery period he became religious, start being a priest named Patrick and converting all of the Irish Celtic pagans to Christianity.
- All the story about him freeing Ireland from snakes is not true. In fact, according to biologist, there never was any snake on the island. They now think that snakes are a metaphor for paganism.
- Shamrocks is the most obvious symbol of Saint Paddy’s celebration. The legend said that St Patrick used it to explain the holy trinity (Father, God and Holy Spirit) to the Irish.
- On St Patrick’s day, everyone is wearing green, eating green food, and even monuments, rivers and ski resorts are turned into green to commemorate the St Patron. But St Patrick himself was wearing blue in association of Ireland being under British rule. In fact, since 1798 during the Irish rebellion the people wearing clover and the color green so it became a symbol of nationalism and it stuck.
- During St Patrick’s day, the worldwide consumption of Guinness almost triples. 13 million pints are sold every year during the festivities. That’s 150pints per second!!
- Every year, the Irish leader goes to the White house to present a crystal bowl full of shamrocks to the president. It’s a tradition
- This celebration is known as Patty’s Day around the U.S but in Ireland it’s St Paddy’s day and Irish people are really strong on this point Paddy is derived from the Irish Padraig.
Best things to do in London for St Patrick’s day
Every year, for 3 days, the Irish community head on the famous place of London to celebrate their patron saint. This year the celebration will take place from the 15th till the 17th of March. You will be surrounded by demonstrations, dancing and singing made by well-known Irish, and there will be a food market and a family area with fun activities for kids.
Do not miss the famous Irish Parade who will start at midday from Piccadilly and makes its way along a 1.5-mile route passing some of London’s most iconic places such as the Ritz, Piccadilly circus and will finish his way at Trafalgar square. On the top of all the fun you will have, all the activities are free.
We made a selection of the best Irish pubs for those who just want to grab a beer and enjoy Irish music.
- The Auld Shillelagh – 105 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UD
- The Boot, 116 Cromer Street, WC1H 8BS – King’s cross
- The Cow, 89 Westbourne Park Road, W2 5QH – westbourn park
- The Faltering Fullback, 19 Perth Road, N4 3HB – Finsbuty park
- The Kingdom, 229 Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JG – Kilburn
- Madden’s Bar, 130 High Road, N2 9ED – Finchley
- The Sheephaven Bay, 2 Mornington Street, NW1 7QD – Camden
- The Tipperary, 66 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1HT – City
- The Porterhouse, 21-22 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NA – Coven Garden
- The Toucan, 19 Carlisle Street, W1D 3BY – Soho
And for those who are not keen of a crowded area you can also relax at home, while drinking one of the 2 wine that we have selected for you:
- Our white Bordeaux Cuvée l’Ambitieux 2014 from the Château Farizeau, organic wine.
- Our Saint-Estèphe, Château Haut-Coteau 2013