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Six Fun Facts About St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick’s Day, first introduced to North America in the early 1700s by Irish settlers, has become a big deal in many American cities. Pools, fountains, and even entire lakes and rivers are dyed green. Revelers take to the streets to celebrate Irish culture and heritage with parades and parties. There are a lot of intriguing legends and fun traditions associated with St. Patrick’s Day, and not all of them originated on the Emerald Isle.
1. Corned Beef Has Nothing to Do With Corn.
Corned beef is so called because of the curing process used to make it. This involves the use of large salt crystals, called “corns.” Another interesting thing about corned beef: it’s probably not what Irish people are eating on St. Patrick’s Day. In Ireland, it’s more common to eat a ham-like dish instead. The corned beef tradition actually started in the United States, according to historians, when Irish-American immigrants bought corned beef to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day instead of the traditional pork because it was less expensive. This doesn’t mean salt-cured beef isn’t an Irish dish. It is. It’s just not necessarily the centerpiece of a St. Patrick’s Day meal there.
2. St. Patrick Wasn’t Actually Irish.
St. Patrick was not an Irishman. He was actually born in what is now Wales (or Scotland or England, depending on who you ask), and his ancestry was likely Italian or Celtic. According to most historical scholars, his given name was Maewyn Succat, and he first came to Ireland as a slave before returning years later. Like many famous historical figures, Patrick was relatively unknown in his own time. However, he became known posthumously as the Patron Saint of Ireland.
3. There Are No Lady Leprechauns.
Female leprechauns are sometimes depicted in modern art, celebrations, and texts. But according to Irish legend, Leprechauns are exclusively male, and they don’t come by their fortune easily. These little men of mystery earn their famed pots of gold by working every day as shoe cobblers. No wonder they don’t want to share!
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4. People Still Look For Leprechauns.
The town of Carlingford, Ireland is home to an annual leprechaun hunt. The tradition was inspired by a 1989 incident where a local pub owner claimed to have found evidence of a leprechaun on his property. If the little guys do exist, they can breathe easy, since the only thing the townspeople ever find are the fake leprechauns hidden by other townspeople.
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5. There Probably Weren’t Any Snakes.
The snake thing? It most likely didn’t happen. The story goes this way: St. Patrick stood atop a hill and drove all of the serpents in Ireland into the sea, never to return. However, experts say there aren’t any snakes in Ireland now, and it’s highly unlikely there were any snakes in Ireland then. Historians explain that the snakes in the legend are probably meant to be symbolic, not literal.
6. People Like to Drink on St. Paddy’s Day.
This one might not come as much of a surprise, but alcohol sales rise significantly on March 17. Irish beer maker Guinness more than doubles its usual sales on St. Patrick’s Day, doling out millions upon millions of pints to St. Paddy’s partiers. Get your drink on and enjoy a live Irish music when the Joe Dougherty Irish Band play at Fling Lounge on St. Patrick’s Day. The show starts at 7 p.m!
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is simply a great reason to get out and have some fun with your friends. Visit Isle Casino® for St. Paddy’s Day fun and your chance to win one of several big cash prizes.