17 Facts About St. Patrick’s Day That You Probably Didn’t Know About

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that is celebrated all over the world, with parades, parties, and of course, plenty of green beer. But how much do you really know about this holiday and its history? Here are 17 interesting and lesser-known facts about St. Patrick’s Day.

  1. St. Patrick wasn’t Irish: St. Patrick was actually born in Britain and brought to Ireland as a slave.
  2. Blue was the original color of St. Patrick’s Day: The color blue was associated with St. Patrick and was used as the official color until the 17th century.
  3. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City in 1762: The parade was organized by Irish soldiers who were serving in the British army.
  4. St. Patrick’s Day was a dry holiday in Ireland until 1970: Pubs were closed on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland until the 1970s. It was only in 1995 that Ireland made St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday.
  5. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival: St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in countries all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Russia.
  6. The shamrock was originally a symbol of the Holy Trinity: St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish people.
  7. Corned beef and cabbage is not a traditional Irish dish: Corned beef and cabbage is actually an Irish-American dish. In Ireland, the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal is Irish bacon and cabbage.
  8. St. Patrick’s Day is the busiest day of the year for many bars and pubs: In the United States alone, more than 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day.
  9. The Chicago River is dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day: Since 1962, the city of Chicago has been dyeing the river green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
  10. St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in space: In 2011, astronaut Cady Coleman played a flute that was gifted to her by Irish musician Paddy Moloney while aboard the International Space Station to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
  11. The shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world is in Dripsey, Ireland: The parade is only 100 yards long and goes from one pub to another.
  12. St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in Montserrat: Montserrat is a small island in the Caribbean, and St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated as a public holiday there due to its Irish heritage.
  13. St. Patrick’s Day was once a religious observance: Until the 20th century, St. Patrick’s Day was considered a religious holiday and all pubs in Ireland were closed.
  14. St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day of St. Patrick: St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th, the day that St. Patrick is believed to have died.
  15. St. Patrick’s Day is the most popular day for people to eat green foods: In addition to green beer, people also eat green bagels, cupcakes, and even green eggs and ham on St. Patrick’s Day.
  16. The largest St. Patrick’s Day parade is in New York City: The New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade is the largest in the world, with more than 150,000 participants and over 2 million spectators.
  17. St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish culture and heritage: While St. Patrick’s Day is often associated with drinking and partying, it is also a celebration of Irish culture and heritage. It’s a day to celebrate the contributions of the Irish to the world, and to remember the struggles that the Irish people have overcome throughout history.

In conclusion, St. Patrick’s Day is more than just a day to wear green and drink beer. It’s a celebration of Irish culture and heritage, a day to remember the struggles and triumphs of the Irish people, and a day to come together with friends and family to enjoy the festivities. From the first parade in New York City to the green-dyed Chicago River, St. Patrick’s Day has a rich and fascinating history that is worth exploring. So this year, take some time to learn more about St. Patrick’s Day and all that it represents. Sláinte!

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Brook Phillips