St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Ireland, in the US, and around the world all have these top facts and figures in common.
We're less than a month away from St Patrick's Day and we can already feel the excitement building. Here are some little-known facts and figures about St Patrick’s Day and how and where it is celebrated to help you get in the spirit of things.
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 color 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. St. Patrick’s Day has been 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. It has spent 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.
6. Saint Patrick's Day will not fall during a Holy Week 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 by 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 center parade over a two-mile route through the city center. The organizers describe it as the third biggest parade in the world after Dublin and New York. Birmingham has a pretty large Irish population and is the second-largest city in England.
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 on St Patrick's Day is ...
It is in Nome, Alaska, with a parade and a golf tournament. Everybody shoots over Brrrrr...!
10. And the shortest St Pat’s parade in the world is in ...
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.
What's your favorite fact about St Patrick's Day? Where will you be celebrating this year? Let us know in the comments section, below.
* Originally published in 2016.