Monday, March 17, 2014

Did You know - St. Paddy's Day | 2014

  • The United States held the first St. Patrick’s Day parade. Even though Ireland has been celebrating the feast of St. Patrick since the ninth century, the first recorded parade in the world to celebrate the Catholic saint was in Boston in 1737, decades before we were even an independent country. Ireland did not have a parade in St. Patrick’s honor until 1931, in Dublin. Even today, 18 out of the 20 largest St. Patrick’s Day parades are in the U.S.A. (London and Dublin round out that list, with New York City at numero uno).
  • In modern celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day, revelers wear green, eat and drink green foods and turn everything they can dye green. This tradition is said to commemorate St. Patrick’s use of the shamrock in his religious teaching, but didn’t really become a part of his feast celebration until the 19th century. In reality, St. Patrick wore blue.
  • St. Patrick Was Not Irish. His birth name was actually Maewyn Succat -- it wasn't until he was in the Church that it was changed to Patricius, or Patrick. St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, was born in Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, which is in Scotland. As a teenager, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and enslaved as a shepherd for several years. He attributed his ability to persevere to his faith in God.
  • According to a US Census, there are more Irish people in America than there are in Ireland. As of 2003, more than 34 million Americans had Irish ancestry. The population of Ireland is just more than four million people.
  • On any given day, 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the holiday's go-to brand of beer, are consumed worldwide. But on St. Patrick's Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million.
  • The Blarney Stone is reportedly kissed by up to 400,000 people a year, making us think that you're likely to catch more than just luck from this Irish tourist attraction.
  • March 17th is the day St. Patrick died. So you're kind of celebrating his death.
  • St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal. Of course there are parades, parties, bars and sporting events held on St. Patrick’s Day. Many businesses close and tons of people celebrate. Houses are adorned with leprechauns and shamrocks and everyone wears green. But that’s not all!
  • In Argentina, they strive to drink (literally) all night long on St. Patrick’s Day, until 7 or 8 a.m. Japan celebrates with St. Patrick-related events all through March. In the United States, it is the second-biggest drinking day of the year (after New Year’s Eve).
  • March was declared Irish-American Heritage Month in the United States in 1991 due to the date of St. Patrick’s Day. The White House fountain, the Chicago River, Savannah’s downtown fountains, and the Chadakoin River in New York are all dyed green every year. And, in some parts of the northeast, peas are planted on St. Patrick’s Day as a tradition.
  • There is a small addendum that needs to be mentioned here… abbreviating St. Patrick as “St. Patty” is considered demeaning to the Irish, since Patty is the diminutive form of “Patricia.” The correct term is St. Paddy’s Day, as “Paddy” is the short form of Patrick.

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