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16 Facts About St. Patrick's Day That'll Make You Say "Whoooooaaaa, No Way?!"

St. Patrick's real name was Maewyn Succat.

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1. The first St. Patrick's Day parade wasn't held in Ireland

That honor goes to New York City, where St. Paddy's Day has been celebrated yearly since 1762.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

That honor goes to New York City, where St. Paddy's Day has been celebrated yearly since 1762.

2. In fact, St. Patrick himself might not have been Irish

FOX

He was believed to have been born in Wales, meaning the patron saint of Ireland might have actually been Welsh.

3. St. Patrick's Day wasn't always associated with green

NBC / Via sensationalcolor.com

Today, it's impossible to think about St. Paddy's Day without picturing endless shades of green. However, for years the saint's color was blue!

4. St. Patrick's original name wasn't even Patrick

NBC

In fact, his full name was Maewyn Succat!

5. All the pubs in Ireland used to close on St. Patrick's Day

The big day was considered a religious holiday in Ireland, which meant bars and pubs were closed for business. This changed in the 1970s, when the celebration officially became a national holiday instead.
Peopleimages / Getty Images

The big day was considered a religious holiday in Ireland, which meant bars and pubs were closed for business. This changed in the 1970s, when the celebration officially became a national holiday instead.

6. Around 13 million pints of Guinness are estimated to be sold worldwide on March 17th

TBS / Via Giphy

It's fair to say bars do pretty well during the celebrations.

7. The Irish president gives POTUS a crystal bowl of shamrocks every year...

The tradition is over 60 years old.
Pool / Getty Images

The tradition is over 60 years old.

8. ...and the Secret Service destroys it immediately afterward.

NBC

The shamrocks themselves don't even last an hour in the White House.

9. JFK once totally forgot about St. Patrick's day (while he was president)

FOX / Via tenor.com

A staffer had to quickly dig up a green tie when the Irish president came to visit Kennedy for the ceremony. Awks.

10. The world's largest permanent shamrock is in Nebraska

Bravo

The giant concrete shamrock was originally painted on an O'Neill intersection, but has been solidified in concrete since 1993. It seems to be the biggest shamrock around!

11. St. Patrick is credited with driving all the snakes out of Ireland...

The saint is famous for casting serpents out from the Emerald Isle. Kim Kardashian would have been proud!
Getty / BuzzFeed

The saint is famous for casting serpents out from the Emerald Isle. Kim Kardashian would have been proud!

12. ...But that couldn't have been too hard, because snakes never lived on the island!

Disney

After the Ice Age, Ireland was just too cold for snakes, so there weren't any there for the saint to banish! But hey, take all the credit you can get, right Maewyn?

13. St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday in the Caribbean, too

The Caribbean island of Montserrat is the only country other than Ireland to officially list St. Paddy's Day as a national holiday. The island has strong historical ties with Ireland, so it's no wonder the tradition took off!
Michaelutech / Getty Images

The Caribbean island of Montserrat is the only country other than Ireland to officially list St. Paddy's Day as a national holiday. The island has strong historical ties with Ireland, so it's no wonder the tradition took off!

14. Shamrocks are an official symbol of St. Patrick, but not of Ireland

While the Green Isle is often associated with the little plant, Ireland's official emblem is the harp!
en.wikipedia.org

While the Green Isle is often associated with the little plant, Ireland's official emblem is the harp!

15. The Chicago river is turned green every St. Patrick's Day

Harmless vegetable dyes are added to the river each year to give it its famous green hue. The color usually lasts for around five hours!
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Harmless vegetable dyes are added to the river each year to give it its famous green hue. The color usually lasts for around five hours!

16. And finally, the world's shortest St. Patrick's Day parade takes about 30 seconds to walk

FOX

It's held in the village of Dripsey in Cork, Ireland. The route is about 25 yards (or 23 meters) long, and stretches between two of the village's pubs.

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