St. Patricks Day Chicago River

Lads and Lassies Gather ‘Round, St. Patrick’s Day be taking over the Town

“Here’s to you and yours and to mine and ours. And if mine and ours ever come across to you and yours, I hope you and yours will do as much for mine and ours as mine and ours have done for you and yours!” –Irish toast

Well you just might have to be Irish to follow that toast, but you don’t have to be Irish to get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Originally a Catholic holiday, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by many people (Irish and non-Irish, Catholics and non-Catholics, snakes— wait no, no snakes). While St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) is widely recognized around the world (mostly for its parades and, well, beer), here are 10 funny facts you might not know about the day and the man who started it all:

  1. You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day—after all St. Patrick wasn’t Irish himself. He was born in Roman England.
  2. Patrick’s real name wasn’t even Patrick. It was Maewyn.
  3. The Irish have often been associated with colorful rainbows (you know, leprechauns and pots of gold). Well, St. Patrick’s Day has a colorful history itself. Blue used to be associated with the holiday. In fact, green was considered bad luck. However, the association changed and now if you’re not wearing green, you’re likely to be pinched (that way the leprechauns can’t find you).
  4. The Chicago River is dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day—they use Orange dye.
  5. Up until the 1970’s, pubs were closed in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. Today, many still remain closed.
  6. St. Patrick was not a leprechaun.
  7. Although he is a Saint now, St. Patrick was not born Catholic and was a pagan before converting to Catholicism.
  8. While he might be most widely known for driving the snakes out of Ireland, evidence strongly supports that there weren’t any there before he got to Ireland.
  9. St. Patrick died on March 17th–the day we celebrate.
  10.  Like I said, beer and St. Patrick’s Day go together like corned beef and cabbage—1% of the worlds annual beer intake is consumed on March 17th.

Interested in the history of St. Patrick’s Day? Check out this video.



Cover Photo Source: danbehling via Flickr

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.[/author_info] [/author]