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St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts & History

Here are some fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day! With March 17th being St. Patrick’s day lets learn a little about the holiday. Saint Patrick is primarily the patron saint of Ireland, he was regarded as the founder of Christianity in Ireland, although was not from Ireland. When he was about 16 years of age he was captured from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland where he worked on a farm. He escaped six years alter and became a priest.  Saint Patrick’s Day is March 17th because that was the day he died. It is celebrated inside and outside of Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In Ireland Saint Patrick’s Day is a national holiday with banks, stores and businesses closing for the day, because it is celebrated as a religious holiday.

In the USA the first Saint Patrick’s Day celebration was held in Boston in 1737. In the United States Saint Patrick’s Day is primarily a secular holiday meaning it is the opposite of sacred, or not concerned with religion or religious matters. In New York City there first official parade was on March 17, 1762. In 2002 the parade had over 300,000 marchers and three million spectators honoring the heroes and victims of 9/11 making it the largest parade to date. In Chicago the first parade was on March 12, 1955. Chicago also dyes the Chicago River green with 40 pounds of green dye, it is made with a secret recipe and the parade begins.

Some fun St. Patrick’s Day facts:

  • Approximately 13 million pints of Guinness beer will be consumed worldwide on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Corned beef and cabbage is a staple of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. In 2014 there were 40.3 billion pounds of beef and 2.2 billion pounds of cabbage in the United States.
  • For many years blue was the color most often associated with St. Patrick’s Day, green was considered unlucky.
  • The shamrock is not the national symbol of Ireland, the harp is.
  • The tradition in America is to pinch anyone who is not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, but legend has it that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns who pinch anyone they see.
  • 83% of Americans wear green on the big day.
  • There is no such thing as a female leprechaun.
  • Patrick’s Day revelers will spend $36.52 per person, totaling a combined $4.6 billion.
  • The name Patrick was given to nearly 650,000 babies in the United States during the last 100 years.
  • 7 million United States residents claim Irish ancestry – that’s more than 7x the population of Ireland.

Whether you are Irish or not St. Patrick’s Day is a fun celebration that everyone can partake in. There are parades, music, green clothes, corned beef and cabbage and of course beer! St. Patrick’s Day can be fun for all ages, and every family. Be sure to wear green though so you don’t get pinched and the leprechauns cannot spot you!