St. Patrick's Day

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Here are some little known facts and figures about St.Patrick’s Day and how and where it is celebrated.

1.St. Patrick's Day is not just a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is also a holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, and in Montserrat in the West Indies.

2. St. Patrick's Day is the most widely celebrated saint's day in the world.

It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland)the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church.

3. St Patrick’s Day color was originally blue.

Originally, the color associated with Saint Patrick was blue, but over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew.

In the 1798 Irish rebellion, in order to make a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms

4. A holiday for 12 centuries

Saint Patrick's feast day was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries.

5. Six centuries as a holy day

St Patrick’s Day made it onto the church calendar in the early 1600s thanks to Waterford Franciscan Luke Wadding.


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6. Saint Patrick's Day in Holy Week-- not until 2160

In recent times, in 1940 and 2008, Saint Patrick's Day fell in Holy Week. It  will not fall within Holy Week again until 2160. Hopefully they will still have Guinness, Jameson and parades then.

7. Britain’s biggest parade is not London

Birmingham, not the capital city, London, hosts the largest St.Patrick’s Day parade in Britain with a massive city centre parade over a two mile route through the city centre. The organisers describe it as the third biggest parade in the world after Dublin and New York.

8. Canadian hockey team goes green

The Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League used to be known as Toronto St. Patrick’s from 1919 to 1927 and wore green jerseys. In 1999, when they had a nationally televised game on St.Patrick’s night, they wore green again.

9. The furthest north celebration

It is in Nome, Alaska, with a parade and a golf tournament. Everbody shoots over Brrrrr...!

10.  Shortest St.Pat’s parade

Hot Springs Arkansas’s  Bridge Street parade is the world's shortest because Bridge Street was named the shortest street in the world in the 1940s. The parade was declared "The Quirkiest St. Patrick's Day Parade on Earth" by Smithsonian Magazine in 2009. 

Visit our St. Patrick's Day section for more news, recipes, history and "craic"