BLUE WAS THE ORIGINAL COLOR TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ST. PATRICK — For centuries both St. Patrick and Ireland were closely associated with the color blue, not green like everyone assumes. Eventually, green took over. No one is entirely sure why. It’s possible that it was because people started wearing green shamrocks in their hair and on their clothes during the 19th century, but the most striking historical example of green’s rise to power took place during the 1798 Irish rebellion when local soldiers dressed all in green on St. Patrick’s Day in order to draw attention to their cause.

ST. PATRICK TAUGHT THE IRISH ABOUT CHRISTIANITY USING A SHAMROCK — The reason the shamrock is so important to both Ireland and the St. Patrick story is because legend has it that St. Patrick explained the Holy Trinity to the native Celts using the three-leafed shamrock.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY IS AN OFFICIAL PUBLIC HOLIDAY IN ONLY THREE COUNTRIES — Ireland is obviously one of them. But the other two are a little more obscure. The Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is one. The Caribbean island of Montserrat also celebrates St. Patrick’s Day as an official public holiday which might seem completely bizarre until you realize that the island nation was founded by Irish settlers.

THE SHORTEST ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE IS IN DRIPSEY, CORK, IRELAND — Everyone knows about the big-time St. Patrick’s Day parades. In Chicago they even dye the river green and Dublin has an entire festival which lasts a week and draws over a million tourists. But most people probably don’t know that the smallest St. Patrick’s Day parade is in a little town called Dripsey in Southern Ireland. It lasts just 23 meters and takes place in between the town’s two pubs. Or at least it used to. Unfortunately, one of the pubs closed in 2007.

GUINNESS CASHES IN… A LOT — Guinness and St. Patrick’s Day go hand in hand. It’s basically the official beer of St. Patrick’s Day. It’s estimated that more than thirteen million pints of Guinness will be consumed on St. Patrick’s Day.

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