Posts Tagged ‘Fun Facts’

  • St. Patrick’s given name was Maewyn Succat; he was born in Britain and he wasn’t always a Christian.  Kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland when he was 16, it’s believed that he formed his religious beliefs during this time.  After escaping back to England, he became ordained as a priest and then returned to Ireland to convert the Celts to Christianity.
  • Shamrocks have long been associated with St. Patrick because legend has it that he used a three-leaved clover or shamrock to explain the concept of The Holy Trinity – The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit – and how they could all exist as separate elements of the same entity.
  • Why do we wear green?  Most sources credit the shamrock: St. Patrick’s followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on his feast day, which led to the phrase and later the song “the wearing of the green“.  As going all-out-green seems to be a U.S. tradition, there’s also the possibility that those of us wishing to become Irish for the day have chosen the green of the Irish flag to express our Irishness.  Superstition may also play a part — word on the street is that if you wear green a leprechaun can’t see you, but if you don’t wear green he’ll see you and pinch you.
  • Where does the saying “Kiss me, I’m Irish” come from?  This one’s a bit tricky to nail down but the consensus seems to be that kissing the Blarney Stone brings you good luck, but if you can’t kiss the Blarney Stone, the next best thing is to kiss an Irish person.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona dhuit/dhaoibh or Lá le Pádraig dhuit/dhaoibh

(Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!)

For Further Reading:  Discover Ireland, Basic Irish Language, Maewn Succat

Image courtesy of Squidoo.com

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Clip art copyrighted by Bobbie Peachey, http://webclipart.about.com

Okay, this post is less than timely — apparently I need more than one extra day in the month of February!  Just for fun, here are a few random bits of trivia about Leap Year.

  • Every year divisible by four is a leap year except full centuries, which must be evenly divisible by 400.  1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, but 2000 was.  Blame Earth’s orbit;  it takes 365.2422 days to orbit the sun.  If it took exactly 365.25 days, every fourth year would work.  Since it takes a little less time than that however, it was decided to lose three Leap Days every 400 years to even things out.
  • According to folk tradition, leap years presented the only opportunity for women to propose marriage to men.  Going along with this, a man proposed to during this time was obligated to offer her a nice gift if he chose to decline the proposal:  perhaps a few pairs of gloves to help her conceal the fact that there was no ring on her finger?
  • People born on February 29 are sometimes called Leaplings or Leapers.  On non-leap-day-years they often acknowledge their birthday as either February 28 or March 1.  My guess is that most kids clamor for a February 28th celebration — what child would want to wait a day longer than necessary to have a birthday party?

For Further Reading:  The Privilege of Ladies, How Do We Calculate Leap Years?, Chase’s Calendar of Events

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