Cheers to St Patrick’s Day!

This week on March 17th we celebrate St Patrick’s Day which is one of the biggest national holiday celebrations around the world, and not just in Ireland where it originates.

The reasoning behind the day can sometimes be forgotten behind the Guinness drinking culture and dressing up in green fancy dress so here are 10 fun facts that you might not know about St Patrick’s Day:

1. The colour green is usually associated with Ireland and St Patrick’s Day however, blue was considered the symbol for a number of years.

2. One of the largest celebrations takes place in Sydney, Australia. In 2010, the Sydney Opera House was turned green to mark the 200th anniversary.

3. In Chicago, the Plumbers Local 110 union dyes the river green to commemorate the celebrations. This has taken place annually since 1962!!

4. St Patrick is the patron saint of Nigeria but they do not celebrate the day as a national holiday.

5. The first public celebration was in Boston in 1737. Before this St Patrick’s Day was a Catholic feast that was celebrated quietly.

6. St Patrick chose the clover because the Celtics believed the clover to be sacred as the leaves form a triad. Each leaf has a meaning – hope, faith, love and luck.

7. According to the Guinness brewer, 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed around the world on St Patrick’s Day.

8. St Patrick died on March 17th and after his death his jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine which has become a relic to ward off the evil eye.

9. St Patrick’s created the tradition of women proposing to men on a leap year. Another patron saint of Ireland, Bridget, complained to St Patrick that women were getting tired of waiting for their men to propose. Bridget even proposed to Saint Patrick himself who unfortunately said no!

10. Traditional foods for St Patrick’s Day are corn beef, cabbage and Irish Potato Candy which is a confection made from cinnamon, coconut and cream cheese. Sounds delicious!