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Wednesday, 14 March 2018 13:11

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2018!

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What do you really know about St. Patrick? Here's some Irish trivia about the holiday to share when celebrating this fun holiday!
Did you know St. Patrick was actually British?
He made history by introducing Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, but did you know Patrick wasn't even Irish? He was born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late fourth century.
 The Irish Take Saint Patrick's Day Seriously
As you might expect, Saint Patrick's Day is a huge deal in his old stomping grounds. It's a national holiday in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.  New York even holds one of the biggest parades on 5th Avenue.
In New York City, the St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of the world's largest parades. Since 1762, 250,000 marchers have gone up Fifth Avenue on foot. 
 Chicago Feels Lucky
New York may have more manpower, but Chicago also has its own little spectacle all its own. The city has been celebrating St. Patrick's Day by dumping green dye into the Chicago River since 1962. It takes 40 tons of dye to get the river to a suitably festive green shade!
 Did you know St. Patrick's Day used to Be a "Dry" Holiday?
For most of the 20th century, Saint Patrick's Day was considered a strictly religious holiday in Ireland, which meant that the nation's pubs were actually closed for business on March 17th. (The one exception went to beer vendors at the big national dog show, which was always held on Saint Patrick's Day.) In 1970, the day was converted to a national holiday, and the stout resumed flowing.
Smaller Events
Not every city goes all-out in its celebratory efforts. From 1999 to 2007, the Irish village of Dripsey proudly hosted the shortest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world! The route ran for 26 yards between two pubs. Today, Hot Springs, Arkansas claims the title for brevity – its parade runs for 98 feet. Oh well, a parade is a parade right?
There’s a Real Reason for The Shamrocks
How did the shamrock become associated with Saint Patrick? According to Irish legend, the saint used the three-leafed plant as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was first introducing Christianity to Ireland.
Cold Weather Helped St. Patrick's Legend
In Irish lore, St. Patrick gets credit for driving all the snakes out of Ireland. Modern scientists suggest that the job might not have been too hard – according to the fossil record, Ireland has never been home to any snakes. Through the Ice Age, Ireland was too cold to host any reptiles, and the surrounding seas have staved off serpentine invaders ever since. Modern scholars think the "snakes" St. Patrick drove away were likely metaphorical.
There’s No Corn in that Beef
Corned beef and cabbage, a traditional St. Patrick’s Day staple, doesn't have anything to do with the grain corn. Instead, it’s a nod to the large grains of salt that were historically used to cure meats, which were also known as "corns."
 The World Runs Up Quite a Bar Tab
All of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration around the globe is great news for brewers. A 2012 estimated the total amount spent on beer for Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations at $245 million. And that’s before tips to pubs’ bartenders.
 It Could Have Been St. Maewyn’s Day
According to Irish legend, St. Patrick wasn't originally called Patrick. His birth name was actually Maewyn Succat, but he changed his name to Patricius after becoming a priest. Somehow Maewyn just doesn't sound quite right does it?
There Are No Female Leprechauns!
Another reason for us ladies to speak out, again- there are no lady leprechauns. In traditional Irish folk tales, there are no female leprechauns, only the little males dressed up in green.
The Leprechaun Economy Is Thriving
Another little-known fact from Irish lore: Leprechauns earned that gold they're guarding. According to legend, leprechauns spend their days making and mending shoes. It's hard work, so you can’t blame them for being a little stingy about their pots of gold.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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