Yep, you read that right. St. Patrick wasn't Irish. He was from Great Britain.

Sadly, he was taken to Ireland as a slave. He returned to Great Britain as a young man and became a cleric. In a vision, he was told to return to Ireland to bring Christianity to the Irish who were previously polytheistic.

According to legend, St. Patrick drove all of the "snakes" out of Ireland. Of course, this is fascinating because there were no known snakes in Ireland due to the freezing waters surrounding the "Isle" of Ireland. Most likely the legend is a parable for St. Patrick bringing Christianity to the country. St. Patrick is credited for helping to end slavery in Ireland and for using the clover to explain the Holy Trinity.

Here are some other interesting facts about St. Patrick and the National Day of Green Beer aka St. Patrick's Day.

  • St. Patrick's Day is held every year on March 17th, the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick.
  • St. Patrick's Day is a day during Lent that many Christians celebrate as a reprieve from their Lenten commitments. This might help to explain the reputation of SPD's excessive drinking. Wink.Wink.
  • 1962 is the first year Chicago dyed its river green, which takes 40 pounds of vegetable dye to do so.
  • It's estimated that 34.7 million Americans have Irish descent which is 7 times the population of Ireland!
  • There are more than 100 SPD parades celebrated in the U.S. annually. The first parade was held in Boston in 1737, not Ireland.
  • Food coloring, such as green food coloring, used to make green beer is made from petroleum!
  • Wearing green became a tradition in the 1900's. Before that, the color most associated with SPD was BLUE!
  • Leprechauns are fairies, but not not like the sweet pixie kind. They are considered capricious, delighting you one day and eliminating you the next!
  • The word leprechaun may be derived from the Irish "leath bhrogan" meaning shoemaker, which doesn't really scream " wealth", unless of course you're Padmore-Barnes.
  • There were originally only four "lucky charm" marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal. Yellow moons, orange stars, pink hearts, and green clovers.

For some added fun, look into your " Leprechaun" name online! Check out more fun facts here too.

Sláinte!