Fun Facts About Saint Patrick’s Day

Fun Facts About Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day has to be one of the friendliest holidays in many parts of the world. Children and adults alike celebrate the day by wearing green and if you didn’t, you suffered the consequences by being pinched. Cities throughout the United States celebrate with parades and block parties. Chicago even dyes part of the Chicago River green for Saint Paddy’s Day.

Just where and when did all these traditions start? Did the Irish always wear green for Saint Patrick’s Day? I was surprised to find out that the answer was no. Where did the term Luck of the Irish come from? While you are having a pint of Guinness, impress your friends with these fun facts about Saint Patrick’s Day.

Saint Patrick’s Day was a dry holiday until 1970: Can you believe it? Although now, Saint Patrick’s Day carries the tradition of toasting with a pint of Guinness, it wasn’t always that way. From 1903 to 1970 Irish law declared March 17th as a religious observance day for the entire country and therefore all the pubs were closed. It wasn’t until 1970 that Saint Patrick’s Day was reclassified as a national holiday.

13 Million Pints of Guinness13 Million Pints of Guinness: Yes, 13 million pints of the “Black Stuff” will be consumed throughout the world on Saint Patrick’s Day, according to WalletHub. Did you know that the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin has the biggest pint in the world? Inside the Storehouse is the largest Guinness Glass which makes up the different floors of the walking tour. Touring the Storehouse in Dublin is a must do. I toured the Storehouse a few months ago. Part of the tour involves teaching and certifying you on how to pour a perfect pint. Plus, you get to drink your work and take your glass with you!

No Green: Did you know that Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated with blue? Saint Patrick wore blue. According to Time Magazine, green was introduced at for Saint Patrick’s Day back in 1798 during the Irish Rebellion, when the clover became the symbol of nationalism in Ireland. “Wearing of the Green” on a person’s lapel became a tradition.

Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish: Saint Patrick was born Maewyn Succat (He adopted Patrick or Patricius upon becoming a priest) and was of British descent. He was kidnapped as a teen by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. He escaped and later made his way back to Ireland to preach Christianity to the Irish.

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The “Luck of the Irish” phrase was meant to be derogatory: This term dates back to the mining period. During the gold and silver rush of the last half of the 19th century, most of the famous and successful miners were either Irish or Irish Americans. According to Irish Central, the association of Irish and mining fortunes took on the phrase Luck of the Irish. This phrase was to make fun and belittle the Irish. Because many thought it was only by sheer luck and not brains or skill that the Irish were accomplished, miners.

Saint Patrick’s Day Parades Didn’t Start in Ireland: According to Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Ireland didn’t originate the parade celebration. The first Saint Patrick’s Day parade was started in Boston in 1737 by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. The city of Dublin hosted the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland back in 1931.

NYC Has the Largest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade: Boston may have the highest percentage of the Irish population in the U.S. but New York City has the largest parade. This Saint Patrick’s Day parade does not have any floats it is strictly a marching parade.

There are more Irish in the US than in Ireland: About 33 million Americans, roughly 10.5% of the total population, reported Irish ancestry in the 2013 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. This compares with a population of 6.4 million on the island of Ireland.

Happy St. Patrick's DayNo Corned Beef & Cabbage in Ireland: Irish do not eat corned beef & cabbage for Saint Patrick’s Day. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, this traditional meal was started in the US. The Irish immigrants settled in proximity to Jewish immigrants and bought most of their meat from kosher butchers. And what we think of today as Irish corned beef is actually Jewish corned beef. In Gaelic Ireland, the cow was considered a sacred animal and a sign of wealth.

There Are No Female Leprechauns: Traditional Irish folklore depicts leprechauns to be male, bearded loaners who were shoemakers. Leprechauns were noted to be tricksters who cannot be trusted and will deceive whenever possible.

1817: This is the first year Guinness was imported to the United States.

Enjoy the festivities of Saint Patrick’s Day this year and in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I will end with an Irish blessing for luck.

May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.

Sandy Williams is a licensed Broker Associate with EXP Realty and sells in the Sarasota area. With over 22 years of experience, Sandy and her team have sold over 2,100 homes. Nationally recognized. Sandy is originally from the Midwest but calls Lakewood Ranch her home.

photo credit: Sandy Williams & Shutterstock

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