St. Patrick’s Day is the commemoration of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, making it a holy day, but also the celebration of heritage and culture of the Irish in general.
The Irish holiday was named after St. Patrick, a missionary from Britain who was accredited as the primary patron saint of Ireland. Here are seven things you didn’t know about St. Patrick’s Day:
1. The color wasn’t always green
St. Patrick actually favored and represented a light blue, which was historically on the military uniforms.
The color green didn’t become popular until the Irish Rebellion in 1798, when the shamrock clover became a symbol of nationalism, according to Time. Rebels were encouraged to wear green, introducing the tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.
Approximately 13 million pints of Guinness Beer is consumed every St. Patricks Day. The holiday wasn’t always about drinking though. In fact, all bars in Ireland were closed on March 17 until 1961, according to Time.
This was because the primarily Catholic nation did not want to be too sinful with excessive drinking on a holiday that fell during Lent, according to Time.
3. St. Patricks Day Parades Started in the United States
The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was celebrated in Boston in 1737, where there was a large Irish immigrant population.
4. The Shamrock
St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland around 432 A.D. He chose the shamrock as a symbol of the Holy Trinity: God, Son and the Holy Spirit.
5. Retailers rack in a pot of Gold
American St. Patrick’s Day revelers will spend on average $36.52 per person each year, totaling a combined $4.6 billion, according to a report by the National Retail Federation.
6. March 17
We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 because it is the day that the saint supposedly past away in the fifth century. St. Patrick wasn’t actually Irish; he was British.
7. His name wasn’t Patrick.
Although the famous saint took upon the name “Pātricius” when he became a priest, his actual name is Maewyn Succat.
Have a happy Saint Patrick’s Day!