March 17 marks the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day annually around the world. It’s an excuse for people to get crazy drunk and for bars and restaurants to inflate the price of Guinness beer and Irish coffees. Most people celebrate by participating in bar crawls, going to Irish pubs, or watching the Irish-themed parades. Not a lot of people know the origin of the holiday, which is to honor the arrival of Christianity in Ireland by commemorating St. Patrick on the day of his death. Here are some other unique facts that you probably didn’t know about the green holiday.
Boston Started America’s Run
The first ever St. Patrick’s Day celebration happened in Boston, Massachusetts, back in 1737. Over 30 cities now have large-scale bar crawls and events on the holiday.
St. Patrick Isn’t His Real Name
He was actually born as Maewyn Succat. The name was changed to Patrick when he became a priest.
No Female Leprechauns
Unfortunately, there is no diversity in Irish folk tales that talk about leprechauns. All of them are referred to as male beings, which could mean that there would be a market for some new female-inspired tales.
Only Legal Holiday In 2 Cities
There are only two places that St. Patrick’s Day is legally a holiday. One is Suffolk County, Massachusetts, where Boston is located, and it’s recognized also as Evacuation Day. The other place is Savannah, Georgia.
10% Of Americans Are Irish
Approximately 33.3 million people in the United States are Irish or of Irish descent, which is roughly 10.5% of the nation. That doesn’t stop everyone from claiming to be Irish and getting hammered on March 17th. In comparison, the US total is seven times more than the population of Ireland.
Everybody Drinks Guinness
Over 13 million pints of the famous beer, Guinness, will be drank on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s widely the most famous beer to get on this day, meaning the markups for it in most places will skyrocket.
Pubs Closed In Ireland On Holiday
Throughout most of the 20th century, specifically from 1903 to 1970, Irish pubs were actually closed to celebrate the holiday. This was due to religious observances and the worry of people getting really drunk, which has been completely changed these days.
George Washington Honored Holiday
On March 17, 1780, Washington rested his troops to let them honor the Irish as they also fought for independence.
Lots Of Green Items Sold
Americans will spend on average around $35-40 on green objects — clothing, hats, glasses, necklaces, etc. — to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. That’s an estimated sales of over $5 billion nationwide.
Shamrock Isn’t Symbol Of Ireland
There’s a lot of people that believe the shamrock and the country of Ireland go hand-in-hand. Actually, the shamrock was used just to teach about the Holy Trinity. The harp is the icon of Ireland.