Eight Surprising facts About St. Patrick’s Day That You May Or May Not Have Known


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Saint Patrick’s Day represents the Feast of Saint Patrick as it is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17. However, it is always interesting to dig deeper into the history of the Green Day as well. If all you know about St. Patrick’s Day is to wear green and celebrate with corned beef and soda bread, you really don’t know much about this cultural and religious holiday celebration held on March 17. So hold on to your favorite leprechaun and be prepared to be amazed by some little known facts about this Irish holiday.

We Should Really Be Wearing Blue

Many people think that Saint Patrick wore the color green. However, that is false. His color was actually “Saint Patrick’s blue,” a light shade. The color green only became associated with the day after it was link to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century, according to mentalfloss.com.

Saint Patrick Wasn’t Irish!

Although he made his mark by introducing Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, Patrick wasn’t actually Irish. He was originally born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late fourth century, explained mentalfloss.com.

Not Irish and not even a Patrick?

Saint Patrick’s given name was actually Maewyn Succat, so if he hadn’t changed his name, March 17th would be celebrated as Maewyn Succat’s Day, according to list25.com.

The Green Chicago River

The Chicago River in Illinois turns green on St. Patrick’s Day when 45 pounds of vegetable based dye is used to turn the Chicago River green, yet the dye only lasts for five hours, according to businessinsider.com.

The Best and Smallest Parades

Annually, there are many parades revolving around the Green Day including the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which started in 1762 and now attracts 200,000 parade participants. By contrast, the first St. Patrick’s Day was actually held in Dublin, Ireland, which wasn’t until 1931. The shortest parade was held in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where the parade covers al 98 feet of Bridge Street, which was named the shortest street in everyday use by “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” explained mnn.com.

No Drinking Allowed

Drinking beer is a big part of celebrating March 17, at least in the United States. Ironically, as recently as the 1970s, pubs in Ireland were legally closed on St. Patrick’s Day because of its national religious holiday status, stated National Geographic.

The Shamrock is Holy

As of now, it’s on beer glasses and green party hats, but the shamrock got its holiday symbolism as a religious tool. According to some stories, St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to teach the people in Ireland about Christianity. He explained that the three leaves illustrated the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit of the Holy Trinity, stated mnn.com.

St. Patrick Was an Exterminator

Saint Patrick is credited for driving the snakes out of Ireland, but according to the fossil record, Ireland has never been home to snakes as it was too cold to host reptiles during the Ice Age, explained worldstrides.com.

More people of Irish descent live outside of Ireland

As many may think that Ireland contains most of the Irish descent, many may be surprised to find out that people of the Irish Descent are mainly found in English-speaking countries, especially the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia, according to Wikipedia.

So now you can amaze your friends and family with these facts during next year’s celebration. As for the “pot of gold” and leprechauns, well, unfortunately, we can’t help you find those. Let’s just say, “May the luck of the Irish be with you.”