8 Fun Facts about St Patrick's Day

8 Fun Facts about St Patrick’s Day

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St Patrick’s Day takes place on 17th March each year, but if you’re lucky enough to be in Ireland at this time, possibly studying with us at Babel Academy of English in Dublin, you’ll know that the Irish like to celebrate their national holiday for a lot longer than just one day!

Want to know more? Here are eight fun facts about St Patrick’s Day:

  1. The first St Patrick’s Day Parade didn’t take place in Ireland at all – it was organised by 27 Irish emigrants in the US city of Boston in 1737.
  2. Blue is traditionally the colour associated with St Patrick; green only became popular in the 19th century because it is the colour associated with many Irish myths and legends.
  3. St Patrick was born Maewyn Succat in the year 387 in Scotland and was taken to Ireland by pirates as a slave at the age of 16. He escaped after six years but returned after being ordained a priest to spread Christianity. He became Patrick when he was made a bishop.
  4. St Patrick didn’t actually drive snakes out of Ireland – it’s more likely that the ‘snakes’ are a symbol of paganism, which Patrick drove out in favour of Christianity.
  5. On an average day, 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed around the world – this rises to over 13 million pints on St. Patrick's Day.
  6. Leprechauns originated in old legends of water spirits and were called ‘luchorpán,’ meaning ‘small body’.
  7. There are only male leprechauns. Some people believe that leprechauns were the evil offspring of fairies, while others think they come from unions between humans and fairies.
  8. St Patrick’s Day is a time when everyone feels a little Irish – but according to some studies, about 70 million people in the world claim Irish ancestry. This is nearly 15 times the current population of Ireland, which was 4.77 million in 2016.

Want to get the most out of St Patrick’s Day 2018 in Dublin with your friends in Babel Academy? Check out www.stpatricksfestival.ie for a full events guide – we recommend the Festival Big Day Out in Merrion Square from 12pm-6pm on Sunday 18th March – a free event with theatre, music, art and of course, a giant Céilí!