St. Patrick’s Day is coming up fast, and before we can permit you to guzzle down pints of green beer we’ve got to go over a few facts about the holiday. So put down that box of Lucky Charms, forget about that corned beef and cabbage, and check out some facts about your favorite holiday that might just drive you to drink.
St. Patrick Wasn’t Irish
“Cancel St. Patrick’s Day forever, because we just found out he wasn’t even Irish” – Nobody ever.
St. Patrick wasn’t even born in Ireland. Confused? His parents were Romans living in what is today England, but what was either Whales or Scotland then. Hope that clears things up for ya.
St. Patrick’s Color Isn’t Green
He was shown wearing blue vests in artwork in which he was depicted, and King Henry VIII used the Irish harp on a blue flag to represent Ireland. Green only became associated with the ‘Emerald Isle’ later, most likely because the countryside was so damn green.
Shamrock < Harp
Though we may think the shamrock is the most popular identifying mark of the Irish, it’s actually the harp that has had greater historic significance. For example, the Guinness logo.
The US Has More Irish People than Ireland Does
There are around 4 million people living in Ireland – and about 34 million living in America. Kind of. It’s more like there are 34 million “Irish” people living in America whose great grandparents are actually Irish. And, of course, on St. Patty’s Day, that number skyrockets to about 100 million.
The Irish Faced Rampant Discrimination in the US
After coming to the U.S. in droves to escape the Great (Potato) Famine, the Irish faced more adversity through rampant discrimination and prejudice. They reacted by organizing themselves politically, and using St. Patrick’s Day as a way to demonstrate their political and social influence.
Pubs Used to Be Closed on St. Patty’s Day
In Ireland in 1903, St. Patty’s Day was declared a religious holiday, meaning all pubs were shut down, and the beer did not, in fact, flow like wine. It wasn’t until 1970 that public officials realized they were being dicks and that it should be reclassified as a national holiday.
It’s Celebrated in More than Just Ireland and the U.S.
Switzerland, South Korea, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Argentina and even in space on the International Space Station, to name a few.
Four-leaf Clovers are Ridiculously Hard to Find
Your odds of finding this happy genetic anomaly are 1 in 10,000. Just thought you’d like to know.