11 things you probably didn’t know about St. Patrick’s Day
Posted by Associated Press on 13th March 2018

This post was originally published on WBALTV NEWS

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St. Patrick wasn’t Irish.

St. Patrick was actually British, born to Roman parents in either Scotland or Wales (no one is exactly sure which). He’s associated with Ireland because he was one of the first people to bring Christianity to the country in the fifth century, around the year 432.

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Saint Patrick’s birth name was Maewyn Succat.

This is according to Irish legend. He changed it to Patricius after becoming a priest.

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Americans rack up a pretty significant bar tab.

On St. Patrick’s Day 2017, total U.S. spending at bars and retailers was estimated to be a whopping $5.3 billion, with the average person spending $37.92. But it wasn’t always such a party holiday

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A shamrock symbolizes hope, love, and life.

St. Patrick reportedly used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity, but later interpretations also said the three leaves are meant to symbolize hope, love, and faith. If there’s a fourth leaf, it symbolizes luck, which is why we consider four-leaf clovers to be lucky.

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There are more Irish people in America than in Ireland.

According to recent census data, there are 39.6 million Americans who list their heritage as primarily or partially Irish, compared to 6.3 million people in Ireland.

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Chicago dyes the river green every year for St. Patrick’s Day.

Every year since 1962, the city dyes the river green using 40 pounds of powder, which reacts with the water to produce a green color. Don’t worry, it’s environmentally-friendly!

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Boston hosts one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the U.S.

Boston is where many Irish immigrants settled once they arrived in America, and the Irish spirit is still alive and well in the city. It hosts one of the biggest celebrations in the U.S., drawing around a million people to the parade, which is usually about 3 miles (though snow shortened it last year). In contrast, Arkansas hosts one of the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parades in Hot Springs National Park — it’s only 98 feet!