17th March is Saint Patrick’s Day (or Lá Fhéile Pádraig in Irish), that time of year when 13 million pints of Guinness are downed in honour of Ireland’s beloved patron saint. Here are eight random facts about St Paddy’s Day.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place in Boston, USA in 1737, and not, as most people believe, Ireland.
- The shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork. The parade lasts 77 feet and travels between the village’s two pubs.
- St. Patrick’s real name is thought to have been Maewyn Succat.
- Moscow hosts its own Saint Patrick’s Day parade. The first took place in 1992, and in 1999, the annual international “Saint Patrick’s Day” festival was launched in Moscow and other Russian cities. The Moscow parade includes a military parade as well as a carnival component with juggling, stilts, jolly-jumpers and Celtic music.
- Saint Patrick was not Irish by birth; he was more likely a Romano-Briton Christian missionary born in England.
- On any given day, 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed worldwide. But on St. Patrick’s Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million pints.
- St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. Montserrat is a tiny island with around 4000 inhabitants, which became home to a large number of Irish emigrants in the 17th century. The week of celebrations includes a St. Patrick’s Day dinner, a calypso competition and a church service.
- According to legend, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years. When the first leap year rolled around, she proposed to him – and he politely declined.