15+ St. Patrick’s Day Facts

March 16, 2017 by
Alex hiking in Connemara
POSTED BY March 16, 2017

Feast your eyes and impress your friends with this ultimate list of St. Patrick’s Day facts! They’ll surely be all ears as the Guinness flows, the parade roars by and the leprechauns dance.

St. Patrick's Day in Dublin - one of many reasons to visit Ireland

15. March 17th, 461 A.D.

When did St. Patrick die? That’s the answer right there and it’s the reason we celebrate St. Patrick’s day on the 17th of March every year.

14. 385 A.D.

When was St. Patrick born? The exact date isn’t known, but it’s thought that Saint Patrick was born in the year 385 A.D.

13. Saint Patrick was Welsh.

Even though St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he was in fact born in Wales.

St. Patrick was actually Welsh

Saint Patrick was actually Welsh

12. St. Patrick was kidnapped and taken as a slave.

This is how he came to Ireland in the first place – to tend cattle and sheep.

11. He escaped to England but eventually returned to Ireland to spread Christianity.

A case of Stockholm Syndrome, perhaps?

10. Saint…Maewyn Succat?

Saint Patrick was not born as Patrick – his real name was Maewyn Succat. He changed his name to Patrick upon becoming a priest.

9. St. Patrick used the shamrock to preach his teachings.

The shamrock is, along with the harp and Guinness, heavily associated with Ireland. This is because Saint Patrick used each leaf to represent each being of the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

St. Patrick's Day Facts - the shamrock was used to preach about Christianity

The shamrock – used by St. Patrick to preach

8. Dripsey, a village in County Cork, once ran a parade that lasted for just 77 feet.

This ‘parade’ conveniently started at one pub and ended at another.

7. The world goes green for Paddy’s Day!

Every year countries around the world light their famous buildings and monuments with a green glow to recognise Saint Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick's Day Green Buildings

The world goes green for Paddy’s Day!

6. It’s St. Patrick or Paddy, but never Patty.

In Ireland, the day is only ever referred to as St. Patrick’s Day or Paddy’s Day. Across the pond it is commonly referred to as St. Patty’s day, which is generally frowned upon by the Irish.

5. There were never any snakes in Ireland anyway.

St. Patrick allegedly banished all of the snakes from Ireland after they bothered him while he was fasting atop Croagh Patrick. Given that Ireland has always been far too cold for any sort of snake, it’s thought that these ‘snakes’ were merely metaphorical.

4. There are more Irish outside of Ireland than in Ireland.

There are an estimated 34 million people with Irish ancestors in America alone, while the population of Ireland is just 4.7 million.

3. The river in Chicago is dyed green every year.

Tonnes and tonnes of dye is dumped into the Chicago river to turn it green to commemorate the day that’s in it. The dye lasts for roughly 5 hours before dissipating completely.

Chicago River turns green for Paddy's Day

The Chicago River is turned green

2. Everyone should wear blue, not green.

Saint Patrick’s colour was actually blue, as was the national colour of Ireland.

1. Guinness certainly flows on Saint Patrick’s Day

Normally, the world consumes about 5.5 million pints of Guinness a day. On St. Patrick’s Day, the world consumes 13 million pints of Guinness.

Guinness is very popular on Paddy's Day

Barack Obama enjoying a Guinness in a pub in Ireland

We hope that you enjoyed these St. Patrick’s Day Facts. Hillwalk Tours offers self-guided Ireland hiking holidays on the best trails at 3 different difficulty levels and between 4 days and 12 days in length.