St. Patrick’s Day fun facts

How well do you know this beloved green holiday?

  1. St. Patrick was actually English, not Irish. He was kidnapped at 16 and taken to Ireland where he escaped six years later and became a priest.
  2. Not surprisingly, St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in Ireland. It’s considered a national holiday, and banks, stores and other businesses close for the day.
  3. Boston was host to the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the U.S. in 1737, and New York City held the first parade in 1762. Although hundreds of parades take place each year, New York and Boston are still home to the country’s biggest celebrations.
  4. Ironically, Ireland didn’t have its first St. Patrick’s Day parade until 1903 in Waterford – the oldest city in Ireland.
  5. The shamrock is the official flower of Ireland, but don’t bet on finding a four leaf clover any time soon – your odds are only about one in 10,000.
  6. The original color associated with St. Patrick’s Day was blue. It wasn’t until 1798 that green became the official color of the holiday.
  7. Nearly 35 million Americans claim Irish ancestry – that’s more than seven times the population of Ireland. (1-3) (4-6) (7)

WBTL-0731 (Mar. 19)

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