Saint Patrick's Day --> March 17th
Saint Patrick is the Roman Catholic Patron Saint of Ireland. He died in the 5th century. St. Patrick built churches and spread the Christian faith for some 30 years in Ireland. There are many myths about St. Patrick, but the most well known is that he drove all the snakes from Ireland into the Irish Sea where the snakes all drown.
Here are some facts about St. Patrick's Day:
FACT: St. Patrick was born in Britain not Ireland.
FACT: In the US it is customary to wear green on St. Patrick's Day but in Ireland green was long considered to be unlucky. Irish folklore says that green is the favorite color of the "Good People" (the proper name for faeries). These "Good People" were thought to be likely to kidnap people (especially children) if they wore too much green!
FACT: The New York St. Patrick's Day Parade is the longest running civilian parade in the world (this year is number 248)! This year they expect 3 million spectators and 150,000 marchers. In comparison the parade in Dublin Ireland is only about 75 years old and draws about 400,000 spectators.
FACT: Guinness stout (first brewed in 1759 in Dublin Ireland) has become synonymous with Ireland and Irish bars. Each year 1.9 billion pints agree consumed around the world.
FACT: Guinness Stout --> A pint of the black stuff a day works as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks according to experts from the University of Wisconsin (now why didn't I go there for college?)!
FACT: until the 1970's, Pubs in Ireland were closed by law in observance of the national religious holiday of St. Patrick's Day.
FACT: Ireland is only 300 miles long and 200 miles wide.
FACT: According to the US Census bureau, among ethnic groups, Irish Americans number 34 million and are second only to the number of German Americans. By comparison there are only 3.9 million people people living in Ireland today!
FACT: Since 1820, 4.8 million Irish have legally immigrated to the US. Only Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the UK have sent more native born residents to become naturalized US citizens.
FACT: Chicago is famous for dyeing the Chicago River green on St. Patrick's Day. It all started in 1962 when the pipe fitters union got permission from the mayor and dumped one hundred pounds of green dye in the river. (For all you environmentalists out there --> today they only use 40 pounds of dye which lasts only for a few hours).