News and Events

Mar
04
2016

Five fascinating facts about St Paddy’s Day you probably didn’t know

What would the 17th of March be without green beer? It’s almost time for shamrocks, top hats and general feel-good revelry as we prepare for St Patrick’s Day at the SAB World of Beer, and you’re invited …

From the 14th till the 20th of this month, you’ll be able to sip on green Castle Draught in the Lion Bar during our fun and informative tour (don’t worry, it’s just a drop of food colouring).

To get you in the mood for the St Paddy’s festivities, we’ve found five facts about the Irish holiday that you might not have known …

1) Saint Patrick was actually British

Saint Patrick made his mark in Ireland when he introduced Christianity in the year 432, but he wasn’t actually Irish as many think. He was born to Roman parents in Wales or Scotland.

<p>Enjoy a pint of green goodness at the World of Beer.&nbsp;Photo by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/brendanlynch/3362364856/">Brendan Lynch</a>&nbsp;</p>

Enjoy a pint of green goodness at the World of Beer. Photo by Brendan Lynch 

2) Beer wasn’t in the picture during the 20th Century

St Patrick’s Day was considered an extremely religious holiday for most of the 20th Century, and as a result, Ireland’s pubs were closed on 17 March. It was declared a national holiday in 1970, and the beer taps opened once more.

<p>A stained glass window depicts Saint Patrick dressed in a green robe with a halo about his head, holding a shamrock in his right hand and a staff in his left. Photo by&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick%27s_Day#/media/File:Kilbennan_St._Benin%27s_Church_Window_St._Patrick_Detail_2010_09_16.jpg">Andreas F. Borchert</a></p>

A stained glass window depicts Saint Patrick dressed in a green robe with a halo about his head, holding a shamrock in his right hand and a staff in his left. Photo by Andreas F. Borchert

3) The shamrock was first used as a learning tool

When Saint Patrick first began his religious teachings to the pagan Irish, he used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the concept of the holy trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

4) Saint Patrick was actually a slave

Saint Patrick was captured by Irish raiders when he was just 16, and spent four years herding sheep in the emerald hills of Ireland. He escaped at 22 years old, and made his way to a monastery in England where he spent time learning more about the Christian faith. He returned to Ireland some years later.

5) Shamrock handover tradition between Ireland and the US

As per tradition, each year the Irish leader hands over a bowl of shamrock, grown in Kerry, to the US president. A thoughtful gesture, but the bowl and shamrock are immediately destroyed by the Secret Service after the exchange. An estimated 34-million Americans have Irish ancestry.

And there you have it! Not such an ordinary holiday …

See you at the World of Beer between the 14th and 20th of March for some Irish-inspired fun.


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