St. Patrick’s Day Facts that will Blow your Mind
While we might not be able to enjoy our traditional green beer today at the local pub, we can still celebrate St. Patty's Day!
Did you know that St. Patrick's color wasn't even originally green? Nope. Actually, it was "sky blue", but morphed into green after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century. And that's not all, there's several more facts I've learned about St. Patrick's Day that are pretty shocking.
St. Patrick wasn't even Irish. Yup, you read that right. He was actually born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late 4th century. Crazy, right? But it gets crazier.
Believe it or not, St. Patrick's Day used to be a dry holiday. The saint's feast day was considered a more solemn, strictly religious occasion. In today's world -- before the national quarantine, of course -- over $6 billion worth of Guinness will be sold. Not surprisingly, American celebrates St. Patrick's day the most, with an average 172% increase in beer sales on the holiday.
Side note: while bars and restaurants are closed, many local business are still offering curbside pick-up and delivery. Take advantage of this! As you can imagine, local bars and pubs missing out on a big revenue day like today is crucial to them. If you planned on going out anyway, consider doing delivery or carry out.
Every year, Chicago dyes its river green. But how? Well, it's actually a mystery that is sworn to secrecy. The city has been celebrating St. Patrick by dumping green dye into the Chicago River since 1962. The exact formula has never been revealed, but we do know that the orange powder used is dispersed through flour sifters by the local Plumbers Union.
And did you know St. Patrick used to get a lot of clout for "ridding Ireland of snakes"? Well, turns out science was just on his side. Yeah, that little saint was claiming fame that wasn't his. Modern scientists indicate that according to the fossil record, Ireland has never been home to any snakes. Through the Ice Age, Ireland was too cold to host any snakes. So, modern scholars assume the "snakes" St. Patrick drove away were likely metaphorical.
I know it's hard, but avoid pinching anyone who isn't wearing green today. We are supposed to be practicing social distancing remember? Also, they're off the hook if they're wearing sky blue, too.