Funky facts about St. Patrick's Day
Did you know that:
New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the biggest non-military parade on the planet, with over 150,000 people actually marching.
New York used to have wide variety of smaller parades on St. Pat’s Day, but they were merged into a single grand event in 1850.
People in Ireland don’t wear green to celebrate the day. Amazingly, green is actually considered an unlucky color in Ireland.
The City of Chicago has been pouring dye into the Chicago River to turn it green every St. Patrick’s Day since 1962.
St. Patrick’s Day was, for many years, a much bigger holiday in America than in Ireland. The day was made a public holiday in Ireland in 1903, and the first parade on St. Pat’s Day in 1931, long after New York’s parade had become a massive annual event. The Irish government has now decided that the holiday is a great way to promote Irish culture, and has held a “St. Patrick’s Festival” in Dublin since 1995, which attracts over 400,000 participants.
The very first parade on this holiday was staged in Boston in 1737.
The world’s longest-running St. Patrick’s Day parade is actually in Montreal, Canada, where it has been put on every year since 1824.
There are now annual St. Patrick’s Day parades in Malaysia, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and even Moscow.
More on the history of St. Patrick and his day here.