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St. Patrick's Day Fun Facts: Did You Know St. Patrick Wasn't Irish?

On the average day, 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed around the world.

Before you belly up to the bar for your St. Patrick's Day celebration, check out these fun facts. Then share them with your friends!

  • You better sit down for this one. St. Patrick was not Irish! His dad was Italian, his mother was Scottish and he was born in Scotland. His birth name was Maewyn Succat. Who knew? And the whole chasing snakes out of Ireland? Just a legend.
  • Raise Your Glass. On the average day, 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed around the world. That number more then doubles on St. Patrick's Day, with more than 13 million pints going down the hatch.
  • Shake It Up. We in the Chicago area should count our blessings this St. Patrick's Day. The beloved McDonald's Shamrock Shake, introduced in 1970, is not available nationwide. Ask for this minty, green, dreamy shake in places like Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky and they"ll look at you like you are crazy. Check out shamrockshake.com for a complete list of Shamrock Shake sightings across the country.
  • Better book that church now. St. Patrick's Day is considered the luckiest day of the year to get married.
  • ...Unless it is a Saturday. According to Irish superstition, Saturday is the worst day of the week to get married. As the proverb states "Marry on Monday for wealth - Tuesday for health - Wednesday the best day of all - Thursday for losses - Friday for crosses - Saturday for no luck at all."
  • Keep you eye on the prize, and the leprechaun. Legend has it that if you catch a leprechaun, he will promise great wealth if you let him go. However, don't take your eyes off him or he will vanish! 
  • Four leaf clovers -- for your eyes only. Found a four leaf clover? Great. You will now have good luck in gambling and racing and it will render witchcraft powerless! However, you must always carry it with you and never  show it to others, or your luck will fail.
  • This is way worse than bad luck! Forget about bad luck. According to the Irish, if a black cat crosses your path in the moonlight, you will die in an epidemic. Yikes! 
  • Get your green on! Consider yourself warned: if you don't wear green on St. Patrick's Day, people are allowed to pinch you.  It was believed that wearing green made you invisible to leprechauns, who would pinch anyone they could see. Revelers began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder of that belief.
  • Seeing Green. For the past 40 years, the Chicago River has been dyed a brilliant shade of emerald green in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Forty pounds of vegetable dye help provide the vibrant hue. 

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