Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Here are 10 interesting facts that you may not know about St. Patrick’s Day. Have a safe holiday!

  1. St. Patrick's given name was Maewyn Succat and he was born in Britain around 385 AD. At age 16 he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his 6 years as a slave he turned to religion for solace. He escaped slavery and made his way to Gaul where he changed his name to Patrick and studied in the monastery.
  2. St. Patrick's celebrations were originally religious festivals. Prior to the mid 1970’s, Irish law prohibited pubs from being open on St. Patrick's Day.
  3. During the mid 90’s, the Irish government began promoting the holiday in an effort to drive more tourism to their country.
  4. In the United States, it's customary to wear green on St. Patrick's Day. But in Ireland the color was long considered to be unlucky.
  5. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 34 million United States residents claim Irish ancestry. This number represents nearly ten times the entire population of Ireland which stands at 3.9 million. Among U.S. ethnic groups, the number of Irish-Americans in theU.S. is second only to the number of German-Americans.
  6. Today New York's St. Patrick's Day parade is the longest running civilian parade in the world. This year nearly three million spectators are expected to watch the spectacle and some 150,000 participants plan to march.
  7. Guinness stout, first brewed by Arthur Guinness in Dublin, Ireland, in 1759, has become synonymous with Ireland, Irish bars and St. Patrick’s Day. According to the company's web site, 1.9 billion pints of Guinness are consumed around the world every year. It is estimated that 13 million pints of Guinness will be poured today, on St. Patrick’s Day.
  8. The Guinness Book of World Records was commissioned by the managing director (CEO) of Guinness Brewery in 1951 in order to settle pub disputes in Ireland. Originally intended as a marketing piece for the pubs, 1,000 copies of the 198 page book were given away in 1952. Today, the book itself holds the record for best selling copyrighted series of all-time.
  9. Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.
  10. One estimate suggests that there are about 10 000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover.

May your blessings outnumber

The shamrocks that grow,

And may trouble avoid you

Wherever you go.

~ Irish Blessing