St. Patrick’s Day is the day of a year when everybody is a little bit Irish. Actually, almost 12 percent of Americans claim they are from Irish origin and over 80 million people worldwide claim their connection to Ireland. With St. Patrick’s Day celebrated across the world, did you ever wonder how much you really know about Ireland’s biggest national holiday?
Here is our ten top list of facts about St. Patrick's Day.
1. St. Patrick was not Irish. His motherland was Wales.
2. The humble shamrock was initially a teaching tool. They say St. Patrick had used the three-leaved plant to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to the pagan Irish.
3. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in New York in the 1760s.
4. For many years, blue (not green - unlucky) was the color associated with St. Patrick. The Irish Presidential Standard is still blue.
5. For many years, Dripsey in County Cork had the world’s shortest parade, just 77 feet. Nowadays, the town of Hot Springs in Arizona claims to have the shortest parade – just a 98-foot route on Bridge Street.
6. In 2010, the Sydney Opera House was coloured green to mark the 200th anniversary of St. Patrick’s Day there.
7. In Chicago every year you can see the river “Kelly” dyed in green. The dye lasts for five hours or so.
8. Traditionally, every year, the Irish leader hands a crystal bowl full of shamrock to the US President. All the shamrock is immediately destroyed by the Secret Service after the exchange.
9. Guinness has good very good sales on St. Patrick’s Day. Latest figures show that 5.5 million pints of the black stuff are downed around the world every day. On St. Patrick’s Day it is doubled.
Happy St.Patrick's Day!