25 Delightful Pieces Of St Patrick’s Day Weirdness That Should Probably Share With Your Friends.
So you've got your green hat and shirt that says "Kiss Me, I'm Irish." You've bought your town's supply of Guinness and are ready to kiss an Irishman and make out with a corned beef sandwich. For all intents and purposes, you're ready for March 17th. But before you go, take a minute to learn some lesser-known facts about this wildly popular holiday, before you're too drunk to remember any of it.
#1. All Irish pubs used to be closed on St. Patricks Day.
Until the 1970's, St. Patrick's Day was considered a religious holiday, and therefore, all pubs and bars were closed. The end of that law certainly benefitted Ireland's pub owners - and everyone else, for that matter.
#2. The very first St. Patrick's Day parade didn’t take place in Ireland.
Organized by 27 Irish immigrants in Boston, the first parade actually took place there in 1737.
#3. St. Patrick wasn't Irish.
Yes, it's a sore subject, but St. Patrick was born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late fourth century. His parents were Roman citizens living in the UK.
#4. Green clothes and pinching are American traditions.
Wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is a tradition that Americans really took to the next level, dating back to the 1700's. So why did colonists don emerald duds? Well, it was believed that on the holiday, those wearing green would be invisible to leprechauns, unless they were pinched.
#5. A plumber came up with the idea of dying the Chicago River.
Steve Bailey was the head of a plumbers union in Chicago in 1962, when he realized that a dye to trace pollution stained all of his colleague's clothes green. In a show of support for the Irish, Bailey propositioned that they use the dye to turn the river green, and the city has been doing it ever since.
#6. People have been getting drunk on St. Patrick's Day for a long time.
In fact, there is a New York Times report from 1860 that describes a "great many persons, very much intoxicated" at the NYC parade.
#7. St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in space. Twice.
In 2011, the International Space Station had a March 17th celebration with Irish-Ameircan astronaut Catherine Coleman. Coleman played a tin whistle while floating in space. Then, in 2013, astronaut Chad Hadfield performed Danny Boy from the space station.
#8. St Patrick’s name wasn’t actually Patrick.
His real name was actually Maewyn Succat. Believe it.
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