On March 17, millions of people will don their best green and toast with pints of Guinness to celebrate the Irish. While the holiday’s origins are rooted in honoring the date of beloved Saint Patrick’s death in 461, the festivities have garnered revelers in countries around the world.
Did you know St. Patrick wasn’t Irish? Or that blue is the color more appropriately associated with Ireland? Here is some fun and little-known trivia about St. Paddy’s Day that may take you by surprise.
7 Things You Probably Never Knew About St. Patrick’s Day
#1 St. Patrick Would’ve Worn Blue
St. Patrick’s color was a light shade of blue, and blue is actually the color most Irish folk associate with their culture and country. The color green only became attributed to the holiday after the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century—and after the day became increasingly associated with shamrocks.
#2 …And He Wasn’t Irish
While the Saint is celebrated for having introduced Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century, he himself wasn’t Irish. He was born to Roman parents in Wales in 387 and spent his childhood in Britain before being captured and taken to Ireland as a slave.
#3 …And His Name Wasn’t Patrick
St. Paddy came into the world as Maewyn Succat and only became known as Patrick after becoming a priest.
#4 Is the Shamrock a Sham?
Legend credits St. Patrick with the rise in popularity of the shamrock as a symbol of Ireland after he likened it to the Holy Trinity to teach pagan Irish people. However, the phrase “drowning the shamrock” came to be much after the Saint’s lifetime. It is rooted in the tradition of tossing a shamrock lapel pin in the last drink of the evening each year. Regardless, the shamrock is not, in fact, the symbol of Ireland. That award goes to the harp.
#5 The First St. Patrick’s Day Parade Wasn’t in Ireland
The first recorded parade to celebrate St. Patrick and his holiday was not held in Ireland, but in New York City in 1762. The steep rise in Irish immigrants to the U.S. later solidified March 17 as the official day of celebration.
#6 Guinness Is, in Fact, Grand
13 million pints. That’s the amount of Guinness predicted to be consumed on St. Patrick’s Day last year, according to WalletHub.
#7 A Dry Holiday?
From 1903 until 1970, all pubs and watering holes in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick’s Day in line with the holiday’s religious observances. While modern-day celebrations are heavily beverage-focused, over six decades of festivities in Ireland celebrated in dry fashion.
Where to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Gainesville
Now that you’re armed with all the fact-checked trivia you need in order to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in an informed and festive fashion, it’s time to decide how you wish to spend your March 17 this year. Here are our top three suggestions on how and where you should join in the St. Patrick’s Day fun in Gainesville, Fla.
Mother’s Pub and Grill
This local pub will have plenty of fiercely Irish food and beverage options. Along with their year-round Shepherd’s Pie and PeeWee Herman (a.k.a. Reuben sandwich), Mother’s will serve classic Irish corned beef and cabbage (starting as early as 7 a.m.!). As for the drinks… Expect to toast to Irish Car Bombs, Jameson and plenty ‘o’ green beer.
The Red Onion Neighborhood Grill
160 pound of corned beef. Bangers & Mash. Guinness Butter and Irish Brown Soda Bread. 10 cases of Guinness (and that’s just for the cooking!). The celebrations begin Thursday at 11 a.m. and continue on into the night.
Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub
208 W University Ave.
After you’ve filled your belly with corned beef and cabbage, head over to this local watering hole to celebrate the patron Saint at one of Gainesville’s oldest drinking establishments and self-acclaimed “only Irish pub.” Doors open at 11 a.m., live Irish music begins at 5 p.m., and celebrations continue into the evening with an Irish dance exhibition and tons of festive drink specials.
Call A+ Air Conditioning for Your Cooling Comfort
All of us at A+ Air Conditioning and Refrigeration wish you a happy—and safe—St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re planning to stay home this Thursday or host the celebrations at your house, make sure your air conditioner is operating at peak performance. Don’t let potential breakdowns ruin your night. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians. We can ensure you and your guests enjoy high-quality comfort this St. Patrick’s Day.