St. Patrick’s Day is a great holiday to celebrate in the classroom as it’s one that includes everyone — it’s often said that everyone in America is Irish for the day! Are you looking for a few fun St. Patrick’s Day facts to get your students in the mood?
Our teacher team hasn’t just been hard at work creating green classroom decor, leprechaun trap ideas, and shamrock worksheets. We’ve also put together the perfect list of fun facts to sprinkle into your morning meeting discussions, add to your “fact of the day” whiteboard posting, or use these to engage students during the day.
Read on for the answer to students’ burning questions like “why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?” and “what’s a leprechaun?”
Fun St. Patrick’s Day Facts for Kids
Here are a few favorites of our teacher team!
- Saint Patrick — for whom the day is named — was not actually Irish. He was born in Britain, kidnapped by Irish raiders, and taken to Ireland as a slave.
- People talk a lot about being lucky on St. Patrick’s Day. That’s because Irish people are said to have “the luck of the Irish,” meaning they’re inherently lucky! (This fun lucky clover activity puts a social emotional spin on the day!)
- The color associated with St. Patrick’s Day is green, and wearing green clothing on the day is sometimes called “the wearing of the green.” The saying comes from The Wearing of the Green, an Irish street ballad that laments how supporters of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 were repressed.
- If you get pinched on St. Patrick’s Day, folklore says it was a leprechaun. To prevent getting pinched, make sure you wear something green!
- Speaking of … leprechauns are mythical creatures in Irish folklore who are said to be mischievous little men who hoard pots of gold.
- The Shamrock is a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. It is a three-leaved plant that is said to have been used by Saint Patrick.
- Wondering why there’s so much green on this holiday? There are a few reasons! It’s said to be due to the green of the lush Irish landscape, the green of shamrocks, and the green on the Irish flag.
- Rainbows are a popular St. Patrick’s Day symbol because leprechauns are said to hide their pots of gold at the end of the rainbow!
- Parades are often associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but the truth is, this isn’t an Irish tradition!
- According to Irish folklore, if you catch a leprechaun, he must grant you three wishes in exchange for his release.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland, but in Boston, Massachusetts, right here in the United States in 1737.
- Irish immigrants brought St. Patrick’s Day to America in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
- Many famous landmarks around the world, such as the Empire State Building, the Great Wall of China, and the Colosseum, are lit up in green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
- St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world, and even in outer space. It’s been marked several times on NASA’s International Space Station.
- According to Irish legend, St. Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland and into the sea, but in reality, Ireland has never had any snakes.
Bring home the gold with our favorite St. Patrick’s Day STEM Activity: Building a Leprechaun Trap!
How Do You Say Happy St. Patrick’s Day in Irish (Gaelic)?
It’s not a fact, per se, but here’s one more fun holiday tidbit to share with your class! In Ireland, many people speak multiple languages, including English and Irish (known as Gaelic in Ireland) which are both official languages of the Republic of Ireland.
If you want to wish an Irish person Happy St. Patrick’s Day in Gaelic, you’ll have to say “Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit.” It’s pronounced, “Law Ale-yeh Pawd-rig Sunna Ditch.”
If you want to shorten the name of the holiday, it’s really St. Paddy’s Day. This is because the name Patrick is actually Padraig in the Irish language!