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10 Fun Facts About St. Patrick's Day

It’s that lucky time of year once again. On the weekend of the 17th, revelers will take to the streets and pubs to celebrate and engage in shenanigans of all kinds. Arm yourself with a wee bit of SPD knowledge, and wow your friends and family with these fun facts.

1. St. Patrick, who’s indeed not Irish, was born in 385 AD in England. At 16 years of age, he was brought to Ireland as a slave. Six years later, he escaped and became a priest. He returned to Ireland to evangelize to the Irish people. St. Patrick passed away in 461 AD.

2. St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to people. The shamrock is now the national flower of Ireland.

3. However, the shamrock is not actually the national symbol of Ireland, but rather, the harp is.

4. The traditional SPD color was originally blue, not green. The shift from blue to green was thanks to Ireland’s nickname being “The Emerald Isle,” along with the green in the Irish flag, as well as the shamrock/clover.

5. The very first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States was held in Boston in 1737.

6. The first time Chicago dyed their river green for St Patrick’s Day was in 1962. Forty pounds of the green dye is used to color the river and it only lasts for five hours.

7. Folks imbibe approximately 5.5 million pints of Guinness around the world on any given day. That number skyrockets to 13 million pints on St. Patrick’s day.

8. People generally eat corned beef and cabbage on SPD. However, corned beef is an English dish and not an Irish one.

9. One American tradition is to pinch anyone who isn't wearing green on St. Patrick's Day. As the legend goes, wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns, who will normally pinch anyone they see.

10. The Irish nickname for Patrick is "Paddy" not "Patty”. So, it’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day.


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