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10 Things You Might Not Know About St. Patrick’s Day

  1. There’s actually nothing uniquely Irish about clovers. They are found all over the world.
  1. Patrick was not born Irish. Or Christian. As a youngster he was kidnapped from Scotland and converted while in captivity. A vision led him to return to Ireland years later as a bishop.
  1. Originally the holiday was associated with the color blue, but legend says it switched to green because revelers believed wearing green would make them invisible to those pesky pinching leprechauns.
  1. In order to follow true Irish tradition, only Catholics should wear green. Protestants should be decked out in orange (did you know the Irish flag has both colors to represent the different sects?).
  1. The shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in America happens just up the road in Maryville, MO. It runs for half a block. Don’t blink.
  1. One of the largest parades happens way down south. Savannah, GA, claims more than a million spectators line up each year to watch its two-mile parade.
  1. There have never been snakes in Ireland thanks to the icy ocean surrounding the island. The legend of Patrick driving the snakes out came from the fact that snakes often represent evil and the saint did drive out pagan customs on the island.
  1. On any given day 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the famous Irish stout brand, are consumed around the world. But on St. Patrick's Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million pints.
  1. Corned beef and cabbage is American, not Irish. Irish immigrants found the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of pork and potatoes to be too costly so they substituted what is now considered a holiday staple.
  1. The best toast for your Guinness? “The Scots have their whisky, the Welsh have their tongue, but the Irish have Paddy, who's second to none!”
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