Here are 10 interesting facts about St Pattys Day to celebrate the holiday.
1. St. Patrick was not Irish - Ireland's patron saint was, in fact, from Wales!
2. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in New York in the 1760s.
3. Though we've come to associate kelly green with the Irish and the holiday, the 5th-century saint's official colour was "Saint Patrick's blue," a light shade of sky blue. The colour green only became associated with the big day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century.
4. Don’t be fooled by any holiday decorations showing lady leprechauns. In traditional Irish folk tales, there are no female leprechauns, only nattily attired little guys who spend their days making and mending shoes (meaning they earned that gold they're always guarding).
5. St. Patrick never got canonized by a pope, making his saintly status somewhat questionable.
6. Guinness sales soar on St. Patrick's Day. Recent figures show that 5.5 million pints of the black stuff are downed around the world every day. On St. Patrick's Day that figure is doubled.
7. Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000.
8. How did the shamrock become associated with St. Patrick? According to Irish legend, the saint used the three-leafed plant (which is not to be confused with the four-leaf clover) as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was first introducing Christianity to Ireland.
9. According to Irish legend, St. Patrick wasn't originally called Patrick. His birth name was Maewyn Succat, but he changed it to Patricius after becoming a priest.
10. In Chicago every year, the Plumbers Local 110 union dyes the river "Kelly" green. The dye lasts for about five hours.
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NZ Gardener and Ryman Healthcare are on the hunt for the 2020 Ryman Healthcare Gardener of the Year! We're looking for green thumbs doing heroic work for their community.
Do you know someone sharing the veggies they've grown with their neighbours? Perhaps locals restoring a park in the area to bring back birds, or a group of neighbours doing a great job in their community garden. Nominate them today!
Click here and tell us why they deserve to be this year's Ryman Healthcare Gardener of the Year.
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