ST Patrick’s Day has come a long way since the first official Christian feast day of the early 17th century.
With hundreds of years of history behind it, the story of Saint Patricius, the Apostle of Ireland, is known all over the world.
Despite all of that, there are still a few things about Ireland’s patron saint and the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that might surprise you – here are 10 things for starters.
10. St. Patrick was actually known for wearing blue
Green only became associated with the big day after the emergence of the Irish independence movement.
9. He wasn’t Irish or even born in Ireland
Patrick’s parents were Roman citizens who lived in either Scotland or Wales (experts can’t agree) around 385 AD.
8. Patrick spent time as a slave
He was kidnapped by Irish raiders when he was 16 and spent several years herding sheep in Ireland. He managed to escape when he was 22.
7. St. Patrick used the shamrock to preach about the Holy Trinity
It helped him show the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit could be separate entities, yet one in the same.
6.The shamrock is not the symbol of Ireland though
That’s actually the harp, which was used on coins as early as 135 and from 1642 emerged as symbol of the Irish people.
5. St. Patrick is credited for driving all the snakes out of the Ireland
But scientists reckon Ireland’s climate made it too cold for reptiles. The snakes may have been metaphorical.
4. It could have been Saint Maewyn’s Day
St Patrick was actually born Maewyn Succat but changed his name to Patricius after he became a priest.
3. St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday in Ireland
For most of the 20th century, pubs were closed on March 17. That all changed in 1970, when it was made a national holiday.
2.Technically speaking, there are more Irish in the US than Ireland
An estimated 34million Americans have Irish ancestry. By contrast, there are 4.2million people living in Ireland.
1. Over 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day
That's according to some estimations. Now we'll drink to that.