(WYTV) – How much do you actually know about St. Patty’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day falls on the anniversary of Patrick’s death on March 17 in the 5th century.
His followers in Ireland began to celebrate his feast day on that day during the 9th and 10th centuries, even though a pope — any pope — never formally canonized him.
Early depictions of St. Patrick show him wearing blue. You can celebrate this day by wearing blue, which was the background color of the first coat of arms when England’s King Henry VIII created the Kingdom of Ireland.
Later, the Order of St. Patrick knighthood also wore blue. After it was established in 1783, the organization’s color had to stand out from those around it and since dark green was already taken, the Order of St. Patrick went with blue.
Even today, the national color of Ireland is blue. In fact, it’s called Patrick’s Blue. The color appears on the Constitution of Ireland and the Presidential Standard flag — a golden harp on a dark blue background.
So how did this day become fixed in green?
Green replaced blue because Ireland’s nickname is the Emerald Isle.
The green stripe in the Irish flag also played a role, representing the Catholics of Ireland. The orange represents the Protestant population and the white in the middle symbolizes the peace between the two religions.
St. Patrick is thought to have used green shamrocks to teach people about the Holy Trinity.