25 Little Known Facts About St. Patrick’s Day

Did you know that St. Patrick wasn’t Irish? Or that green wasn’t even his color? These are 25 little known facts about St. Patrick’s Day.

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25

St. Patrick was actually not Irish, he was English.

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24

His given name was Maewyn Succat

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23

He was kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave

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22

He tended sheep for 10 years in Ireland before escaping back to England and taking refuge in a monastery.

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21

He became a priest and later on took his teachings back to Ireland where he established the Christian Church which got him in trouble with Celtic druids on several occasions

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20

After becoming a priest, he changed his name to Patricius, from the Latin term meaning "father figure."

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19

Contrary to legend, St Patrick never rid Ireland of snakes because post-glacial Ireland is one of the few countries on Earth that never had any snakes

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18

St Patrick's color was actually blue, not green. In fact, most of the country, including its flag, were represented by blue. Green only came later, possibly due to the country's green countryside. After all, Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle.

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17

St Patrick's day was actually started in 18th century American cities by persecuted Irish immigrants who were trying to confirm and hold on to their heritage

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16

There are more people with Irish ancestry in the United States (34 million) than in Ireland (4.2 million).

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15

In Chicago, on St. Patrick's Day, the rivers are dyed green.

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14

The first parade in Dublin did not occur until 1931. The holiday wasn't a national holiday in Ireland until 1903.

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13

On an average day, 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed around the world. That number more then doubles on St. Patrick's Day, with more than 13 million pints

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12

From 1903 to 1970 most pubs in Ireland were closed however, because St Patrick's day was a religious holiday.

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11

In 1970 it was reclassified as a national holiday and Ireland joined the United States in drinking the day away

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10

The phrase, "Drowning The Shamrock" is from the custom of floating the shamrock on the top of whiskey before drinking it. The Irish believe that if you keep the custom, then you will have a prosperous year

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9

St. Patrick's Day falls during Lent, but the restriction of drinking alcohol and eating are lifted for the day. This is believed to be the reason why drinking became such a strong St. Patrick's Day tradition.

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8

The shamrock is actually not the national symbol of Ireland. The harp is.

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7

Apparently Trifolium dubium is the "real shamrock". According to the Irish, other three leaf clovers like Trifolium repens and Medicago lupulina are bogus

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6

Irish soda bread is popular on St. Patrick's Day. Sometimes a cross is cut into the dough with a knife before baking to ward off the devil.

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5

Contrary to popular belief, corned beef and cabbage is about as Irish as a taco salad

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4

After spending most of his life getting beat up in Ireland preaching to druids, St Patrick was largely forgotten after his death on March 17 461

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3

Over the centuries the legends began to crop up and he was eventually declared the patron saint of Ireland

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2

The shamrock is worn today because apparently St Patrick picked a three leaf clover off the ground to explain the trinity before the druid king. It too became somewhat of a legend although there is actually nothing Irish about shamrocks. They can be found all over Europe.

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1

Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000

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