- We should actually wear Blue
Saint Patrick would have had to put up with being pinched. His colour was a very pale blue called “Saint Patrick’s Blue”. The colour green only became associated with the feast day after the Irish Independence Movement in the late 18th Century.
- Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish
Despite being the Patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick was British, although we can’t say for sure, there is a high chance that he was Welsh.
- The Irish take Saint Patrick’s day very seriously
It is a national holiday in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
- But so do New Yorkers
The New York City St Patrick’s Parade is one of the world’s largest parades ever! It has been happening since 1762, and every year since 250,000 people march up Fifth Avenue, as floats and cars are not allowed.
- Chicago has Its own special celebration
New York has the Parade but it doesn’t have a green river! Every year since 1962, the Chicago river is dyed green by 40 tonnes of dye.
- It used to be a dry holiday
St Patrick’s day used to be a religious holiday, meaning that Ireland’s pubs were closed for business, in 1970, it was converted to a national holiday and from then on the Guinness flowed freely.
- Not ALL the parades are big events.
Unlike the big celebrations in New York, some places pride themselves on having the smallest St Paddy’s day celebrations. From 1999-207 this record was held by the small Irish village of Dripsey. The parade ran between 2 pubs for a total of 26 yards. However, it lost the title to Hot Springs in Arkansas which runs for only 98 feet.
- The meaning of Shamrocks
The shamrock is said to have been planted by St Patrick to symbolise the holy trinity.
- The climate was actually responsible for St Patrick’s Miracle
St Patrick was sanctified, according to the legend, for driving out all the snakes from the ‘Emerald Isle’, however, the fossil record has proven that Ireland was too cold to host any kind of reptile, leading many scholars to think that the ‘snakes’ were the metaphorical kind. Some say that the ‘snakes’ were in fact pagans.
- Corned beef does not contain corn
The traditional St Patrick’s day meal of corned beef and cabbage does not contain any corn. It comes from the large grains of salt that were used to cure the beef, which were known as ‘Corns’.
- The world works up quite a bar tab
This is a bit more than your usual spending when on a night out. In 2012, the world racked up a total of $245 Million for St Patrick’s day celebrations, and that doesn’t count any tips given.
- There are no such things as female leprechauns
Despite what some decorations might show, in Irish folklore leprechauns are exclusively male.
- It could have been St Maewyn’s day
According to the legend, before he became a priest St Patrick was called Maewyn Succat.
- The leprechaun economy is thriving
Another thing in Irish lore that is not very well known is that Leprechauns earn the gold that they guard, by making and mending shoes. It is very hard work and so you can hardly blame them for being so protective of their gold.
- The famous cry makes sense
At St Patrick’s day celebrations all over the world, cries of “Erin go Bragh” can be heard. It is a corruption of the Irish phrase “Eirinn go Brach” which roughly means “Ireland Forever”