Once a religious holiday, the St. Patrick's Feast originated as a celebration of the patron saints of Ireland for over a thousand years. It has gradually evolved into a world-wide celebration of Ireland's culture, traditions, cuisine, and the color green.
Here are 10 fun facts we bet you didn't know about going green:
1.The color of St. Patrick's Day was originally blue, but green became more prevalent as shamrocks became the official symbol of the holiday. In the 1798 rebellion Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of making a revolutionary political statement. The shamrock on their hat was a sign of rebellion.
2. "The Wearing of the Green" came from a song by Dion Boucicault.
3. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, which is both the day of religious feast and the anniversary of St. Patrick's death in the fifth century.
4. A tall tale exists that St. Patrick was famous for banishing all the snakes in Ireland. While entertaining, not true.
5.The Shamrock, also called the "seamroy" by the Celts was a sacred plant in Ireland because it symbolized rebirth of spring.
6. Corned beef and cabbage is the traditional St. Patrick's day meal, but in New York, some celebrate with Irish bacon to save money.
7. The leprechaun is a purely American tradition introduced by Disney in the film Darby "O'Gill & the Little People."
8. Chicago has been dying its river greenfor the past 43 years to celebrate "The Emerald Isle." The green appears magically from an orange dye that many other cities have tried (unsuccessfully) to emulate.
9. In Ireland, the celebration outgrew the word "Day" and became St. Patrick's Festival - a four day event that takes 18 months to plan and is enjoyed by 1.2 million people.
10. Guinness is the official beer of St. Patrick's Day solely because you are supposedly able to drink stout all day without getting too intoxicated or too full. We don't agree, but whatever your brew of choice is, have a swig for us. Sláinte!