Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Fun St. Patrick’s Day Facts for Kids

  • St. Patrick was a patron of Ireland.  A patron is a person who gives financial and other support to a person, organization, cause or activity.
  • St. Patrick was born in Bannavem Taberniae England around 386AD.
  • He died on March 17th 460 AD.
  • St. Patrick’s Day or also known as St. Patrick Feast Day is celebrated on March 17th in honor of the anniversary of his death.
  • St. Patrick’s Feast Day became an office celebration in the 17th century. The celebration is observed by the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church.
  • At the age of 16 St. Patrick was sold into slavery.  He was brought to Ireland and worked as a shepherd.
  • At the age of 22 he escaped slavery.
  • He dedicated himself to the Christian religion. He studied in a monastery of Le’rins off the coast of France and in France with Saint Germanius a French Bishop.
  • St. Patrick returned to Ireland in his 30’s.
  • He is credited for brining the religion of Christianity to Ireland.
  • Legend says that St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. He used the clover to represent three separate parts (3 leaves of the clover) of the same being. The first leaf was God the Father, second leaf the Son and the third leaf the Holy Spirit.  
  • The shamrock is now the offical flower of Ireland.
  • The highest number of leaves found on a shamrock clover was 14.  It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Legend says that finding a four-leaf clover on St. Patrick’s Day will bring you luck.  Each clover leaf represents something different. First leaf represents hope, second leaf represents faith, third leaf represents love and the fourth leaf represents luck.
  • There are many legends about St. Patrick.  One story states that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland.  He didn’t really drive snakes out of Ireland.  The snakes represent the pagans he converted to Christianity.
  • Did you know that the original color for St. Patrick was blue?  In Irish legends and stories green was worn by fairies and immortals. It was also believed that wearing green would help make a good growing season for their crops in Ireland.  Green became the color for St. Patrick’s Day in the early 19th century.  
  • The harp is the symbol of Ireland.
  • The color green represents Ireland.  Ireland is also called “The Emerald Isle.”
  • The Irish flag is green, white and orange.  Green represents the people of the South, Orange represents the people of the North and White represents the peace that brings the North and South together.
  • Dublin is the capital of Ireland.
  • In Dublin they celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day Festival March 15th -19th. 
  • During the St. Patrick’s Day Festival there is a parade, carnival, treasure hunt and dances.
  • In Ireland people wear shamrocks on their jackets and hats. Children wear green, white and orange (colors of their flag) and girls wear green ribbons in their hair.
  • Did you know that a leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore. 
  • Leprechauns are part of the Tuatha De Danann.  Tuatha De Danann are a race of people of Irish Mythology.  
  • Legend says that leprechauns spend all their time making shoes.  They store their coins in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  If a leprechaun is caught by a human they have special powers to grant that human three wishes.  Once those wishes are granted the human has to let the leprechaun go.
  • St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are held not only in Ireland but around the world in countries such as Canada, Japan,Montserrat (an Island in the Caribbean), New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Great Britain, Argentina, Switzerland, South Korea and United States.
  • 34 million American are part Irish.  That is more than in the amount of people living in the country of Ireland!
  • Boston Massachusetts has the highest population of Irish people in the United States.
  • There are many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States.
  • Many states have parades.  The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was not in Ireland but in Boston.  The Boston parade started in in 1737!
  • In Chicago the Chicago River is temporarily died green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Corn beef and cabbage is an Irish American dish.
  • 41.4 billion pounds of beef are produced each year for St. Patrick’s Day. Most of the beef comes from Texas.
  • 2.5 billion pounds of cabbage is grown for St. Patrick’s Day.  The cabbage mostly comes from California.
  • United States President Barack Obama is part Irish