Fun – and Surprising – Facts about St. Patrick’s Day

By Megan Morrow
Published March 14, 2019

Most people know that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, often with parades of bag pipes, shamrocks and clovers, and corned beef and cabbage (and maybe some green beer). However, you probably do not know that the original color of the holiday was blue or that Saint Patrick was actually born in Scotland or Wales, rather than Ireland.

Here are some other fun facts that you can share at your next St. Patrick’s Day get-together:

  • The leaves of a four-leaf clover stand for faith, hope, love and luck. Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover, however, are about 1 in 10,000, according to the Daily Telegraph.
  • St. Patrick’s Day is big business for many businesses. Last year, revelers were expected to spend nearly $6 billion celebrating in the United States, nearly $40 per person, according to a survey.
  • There are nearly 33 million U.S. residents who have Irish ancestry – more than seven times the population of Ireland, although many are of mixed ancestry. The reason there are so many Irish people living abroad dates back to the potato famine, when millions of Irish left for the United States and other locations. The first U.S. celebration of the holiday took place in 1737 in Boston, and there are now more than 100 parades across the country.
  • St. Patrick’s Day was a dry holiday in Ireland from 1903 to 1970. Irish law declared the day a religious observance, so pubs and public celebrations were closed. In 1970, it was reclassified as a national holiday, returning the flow of libations, parades and other celebrations.
  • Seven places in the United States are named after the shamrock, the national symbol of Ireland. They are Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.V.; Shamrock, Texas; Shamrock Lakes, Ind.; and Shamrock, OK. Another sixteen U.S. cities bear the name of Dublin, Ireland’s capital.

And, one last fascinating fact: You may know that Chicago turns its river green every year for a few hours on St. Patrick’s Day. It takes a full 45 pounds of vegetable-based dye to create the green hue! The full recipe for the dye, however, remains a well-kept secret.

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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.

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