A Little Bit of Saint Patrick’s Day History

Did you know that St. Patrick – the patron saint of Ireland – was not Irish? He was actually born in late 4th century Britain, which was under the Roman Empire at the time. Raised in a Christian family, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland at the age of 16, and although he escaped and went back home to become a priest, he returned to Ireland and brought Christianity to its people. St. Patrick died on March 17th A.D. 461, but it wasn’t until the 9th or 10th century that people in Ireland began observing the date as a Roman Catholic feast Day.

Spuds O’Brien, a St. Patty’s Day Radebaugh classic!

Mythology surrounding St. Patrick’s life became more prevalent, and one of the most well-known legends involves St. Patrick relating the Holy Trinity to the three leaves of Ireland’s native clover, the shamrock, which – along with the color green – has come to symbolize St. Patrick’s Day. Later in time, prohibitions on eating meat, drinking, dancing, and other activities during the season of Lent were lifted for the holiday, allowing a break where people could celebrate.

Festivals in America – like the parades in Boston in 1737 and New York in 1762 – helped popularize St. Patrick’s Day, and when the Irish Potato Famine of 1845 drove many Irish Catholics to America, the holiday spread even more, making it the great celebration that it represents today. Even in Chicago, the river is dyed green a few days before St. Patrick’s Day, and Irish parades and festivals still take place across America around this time in March.

Squeeze a wee bit of Irish green with flowers!

Wear and plant some green this March with Radebaugh’s lovely selection of green and blooming plants. Show your St. Patrick’s Day spirit with Oxalis, beautiful true shamrocks in red/purple or green hues, or walk through our greenhouses to see more of our gorgeous plants, from colorful pansies, lush hyacinths, and brightly blooming tete-a-tetes. Don’t forget about flowers, we have pretty fresh-cut Bells of Ireland to go with any St.Patrick’s Day-themed design.

Add some Irish whimsy this March 17th with some “wearing o’ the green,” find the perfect plant or vase of flowers!