Growing up, I dreaded St Patrick’s Day like it was the worst day of the year. I was a small bundle of social anxiety and even just the mere thought of being pinched because I wasn’t wearing green was enough to make me sick.

Fast forward to adulthood and while I don’t make myself sick over the possibility of being pinched, it’s still not a holiday that I would say I anticipate. The excitement behind it is pretty fascinating but it’s drunkenness and jokiness isn’t something I’m counting down toward.

With that being said, for many it’s a holiday that is planned over the course of the entire year! Green everything, trips to notorious celebrations, Irish-themed get-togethers – the list goes on. So as we approach the holiday that is so loved by many and dreaded by others, here are some things you might not yet know.

St Patrick was ACTUALLY British

Although we traditionally think of St. Patrick’s day as an Irish holiday, this is because St Patrick was most notorious for introducing Christianity to the Irish people – not because he himself was Irish.

The Shamrock was used to teach religion

This is been proven incorrect, but old legend said that St Patrick used the shamrock as a means of teaching about the father, the son, and the holy spirit – one leaf for each of the holy trinity!

The first US parade was in NYC

The first St Patrick’s day parade was held in NYC in the 1762. Now, they’re held worldwide with some being small and some being week-long celebrations.

St Patrick was brought to Ireland as a slave

St Patrick arrived in Ireland not as a traveler, but as a slave at the age of 16. However, 6 years later he made his escape and chose to become a priest. Following a supposed vision, he returned to Ireland in order to share Christianity.

First US St Patrick’s Day celebration was held in Boston

Although not a formal parade, the first known celebration of St Patricks Day in the United States was held in Boston in 1937.

Wearing green instead of blue

These days green is notoriously the color of St Patrick’s day, but during St Patrick’s time green was considered to be very unlucky. Instead, St Patrick would’ve preferred we celebrate by wearing the color blue which was a symbolic color in Ireland and still an official color there today.

Catch the green river in Chicago

Ever since 1962, over 40 tons of dye has been dropped into the Chicago River each year in order to turn it green.

Everyone is drinking beer to the tune of $$$$

It is estimated that across the world, beer sale totals are upwards of $245 million on St Patrick’s Day alone. Needless to say, it’s a good day to be a brewer.

Erin Go Bragh

If you find yourself in a pub this year, you’d likely hear the chants of people saying “Erin Go Bragh.” This is an adaption of the Irish phrase “Éirinn go Brách” which basically means “Ireland Forever.”

 

For these facts and more, visit these sites/sources: Mental Floss // CNN // Irish Central