Fun Things to Know About St. Patrick’s Day

Participants At St. Patrick's Day Parade

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday all about fun. While there’s lots of ways to celebrate, you may not know that there is a lot to know about St. Patrick’s Day. There are lots of fun things to know about St. Patrick’s Day whether you are student or just a celebrant. You can use some of these facts to give you a better understanding of St. Patrick’s Day, and simply add to the fun. While some may be more surprising then others these fun facts may give you a whole new insight into St. Patrick’s Day.

1. St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish!  The man at the center of the holiday was not even born in Ireland. He was captured at the age of 16 by Irish raiders who were attaching his family’s estate in Britain. He was taken as a slave to Ireland, where he spent 6 years in captivity working as a shepherd. After escaping and returning to his family in Britain, he returned years later to Ireland as one of the most famous missionaries in Christianity.

2. If the weather is too cold there are no shamrocks!  Ireland’s winters determine just how many shamrocks are available for the celebration. If the winter is too harsh there can easily be a shortage of authentic shamrocks. For many Irish this is the most important part of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as many people wear bunches of shamrocks pinned to their coats and hats for the celebration.

3. St. Patrick’s Day really got started in America-You may be surprised to learn that until the early 1970s St. Patrick’s Day was considered a religious holiday of minor significance in Ireland. Generally a priest would announce that it was a feast day. Then families would dine together over a large meal. St. Patrick’s Day was really brought to its present day prominence by Irish-Americans.

4. Dyeing the Chicago River came about by accident-In 1962, the tradition began when a parade organizer noticed how a dye that plumbers used had turned a worker’s overalls a brilliant shade of green. With that inspiration the next year part of the river was dyed green. While the city has become famous for its green Chicago River, many environmentalists are working to end it.

5. Hallmark even gets in on St. Patrick’s Day-You may think of Hallmark for all of the other Holidays sucha s Christmas, Mother’s Day and Valentines. So you may be surprised to learn that Hallmark sells between 8-10 million cards, every St. Patrick’s Day. You can think of that the next time you are wishing someone the “luck of the Irish”!

6. Guinness makes good on St. Patrick’s Day too!  It is estimate that on any day there is a lot of Guinness beer being consumed throughout the world (approximately 5 ½ million pints). However, on St. Patrick’s Day that amount more then doubles.

7. Irish eyes are smiling right here in the United States-The ties to Ireland are strong within the United States. Over 34 million people have direct Irish ancestry. That makes for a large number of people to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

8. Corned Beef is an American food-Because of the heavy influence of Irish-Americans even the typical food of the holiday really isn’t all Irish. Corned beef is a dish that was devised by Irish-American cooks as a cheaper way to feed their typically large families.

9. St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t always about the green-The original color worn by St. Patrick himself was blue. It wasn’t until late in the 19th century that the color green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

10. You can be part of a very large crowd-Statisticians estimate that over 94 million people will be planning to wear green this St. Patrick’s Day.

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