5 Things to Know About St. Patrick's Day
Some fun facts and figures to get your holiday off on the right foot.
1. WHEN AND WHY: St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD. It is also a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and history. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland, and a provincial holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
2. BEST PLACES TO CELEBRATE: There are seven places in the United States named after the shamrock --the floral emblem of Ireland-- including Mount Gay-Shamrock, WV; Shamrock, TX; Shamrock Lakes, IN; and Shamrock, OK. Sixteen U.S. places share the name of Ireland's capital, Dublin. With 44,541 residents, Dublin, CA, is the largest of the nice, followed by Dublin, OH, with 39,310. Other towns with the luck of the Irish include Emerald Isle, North Carolina and Irishtown, Illinois.
3. WILL THE REAL ST. PATRICK PLEASE STAND UP? For starters, the real St. Patrick wasn't even Irish. He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family with a townhouse, a country villa, and plenty of slaves. At 16, Patrick's world turned: He was kidnapped and sent overseas to tend sheep as a slave in the chilly, mountainous countryside of Ireland for seven years.
4. COLOR BLIND: The actual color of St. Patrick is blue. Green became associated with St. Patrick's Day during the 19th century. Green, in Irish legends, was worn by fairies and immortals, and also by people to encourage their crops to grow.
|Percent of adults who plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day||46 %|
|Percent of adults who plan on having a drink to celebrate||20 %|
|Percent of people who plan on going to a St. Patrick’s Day parade||10 %|
|Percent of people who plan on going to a party||7.2 %|
|Percent of people who plan on decorating their home or office||9.6 %|
|Consecutive years New York has hosted St. Patrick’s Day Parade||248|
|Odds of a child being named Patrick||0.1 %|
|Total Number of U.S. Residents claiming Irish Ancestry||36.9 million|
|Total percent of Massachusetts with Irish Ancestry||24%|