St. Patrick’s Day is a really exciting springtime holiday to get into whether you are Irish or not. To make this day a little bit more meaningful as well as fun, we have compiled a list of little known Irish factoids and some St. Patrick’s Day trivia--sans the Blarney, of course. Here’s our top 15 list of St. Patrick’s Day Facts. Now you can be a little more knowledgeable about all things Irish --may the luck o’ the Irish be with you!
- Many in local Irish pubs will be raising a cold pint of Guinness, simultaneously wishing their buddies “Sainte!” which translated from Irish means “health”. Interestingly enough, according to the American Heart Association, Guinness may be as effective as a daily aspirin in reducing blood clots that can cause heart attacks. (The dark Irish ale is filled with antioxidants that are unfortunately, not found in paler counterparts.)
- St. Patrick’s Day celebrates Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick who died back in the 5th century. Ironically, St. Patrick was not born in Ireland at all--he was born in Britain.
- Irish bad guys kidnapped St. Patrick when he was just a wee lad, at the tender age of 16 and subsequently brought him to Ireland where he was forced into slavery for 6 years. Eventually St. Pat was able to escape and return to his parent’s home where he then had a vision. In his vision he saw that he would be preaching Christianity to the Irish people.
- There is a myth about St. Patrick stating that he eliminated all snakes from Ireland and that they all ended up in the Irish Sea. This tale is completely false, as snakes are not indigenous to the Emerald Isle.
- The Shamrock is the national flower of Ireland.
- Even though it is customary to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, this color in Ireland was actually long considered to be very unlucky by most Irish people. Green was thought to be the favorite color of evil minded faeries who in Irish culture were known to actually steal people (especially children) who wore too much of the color.
- The most traditional and popular Irish foods consumed on St. Patrick’s Day are Irish Soda Bread, Corned Beef and Cabbage and obviously, Guinness!
- The New York St. Patrick’s Day parade is the oldest running parade in the world and has been going since 1762.
- Ironically, as recently as the 1970’s, pubs in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick’s Day, which was considered a national religious holiday.
- Chicago has it’s Irish claim to fame in that the Chicago River is infamously dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day, a tradition that began in 1962 when 100 lbs. of green vegetable dye was poured into the river. More people are likely to view the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day than any other day because of this very green tradition.
- About 1.9 billion pints of Guinness will be consumed around the world every year. How much of this is chugged on St. Patrick’s Day is anyone’s guess!
- Erin Go Braugh translated into English actually means, “Ireland Forever!”
- Kissing the Blarney stone is said to give one the gift of eloquent speech.
- If you look away from a leprechaun it will turn and run away. (Assuming you ever see one in the first place, good luck with that!)
- Tradition says that if you are caught on St. Patrick’s Day not wearing something green, you are likely to get pinched!
Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Erin Go Braugh!