Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.
The website WalletHub has crunched some numbers about the holiday compiled from data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Retail Federation, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and other sources.
The results are pretty interesting. For example, 51.2% of Americans are celebrating St. Patrick's Day, and of those partaking in the festivities, 82.1% of celebrants will wear green.
St. Patty's Day revelers will spend an average of $35.4 on green beer, corned beef and cabbage, those green hats that cover your head in glitter, and other traditional holiday stuff.
• 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide on St. Patrick’s Day.
• There is a 70%: Increase in cabbage shipments during St. Patrick’s week.
Here are a few more interesting notes about St. Patrick's Day....
Although a classic St. Patrick's Day meal is corned beef and cabbage, it is more American than Irish. Irish Americans in the 19th century were mostly poor. The most affordable meat available was corned beef and cabbage is a spring vegetable and it's cheap.
On St Patrick's Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and green clothing. St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaf clover, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. This story first appears in writing in 1726, though it may be older. In pagan Ireland, three was a significant number and the Irish had many triple deities.
The absence of snakes in Ireland gave rise to the legend that they had all been banished by St. Patrick chasing them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill. However, all evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes. Water has surrounded Ireland since the end of the last glacial period, preventing snakes from slithering over; before that, it was blanketed in ice and too chilly for the cold-blooded creatures.
There you go. just a few interesting facts and traditions about the holiday. Happy St Patrick's Day!!