As the Irish get ready to mark St Patrick’s Day this Thursday, we take a look at some facts about the celebration.
1. St Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 as this is the traditional death day of the patron saint.
2. As well as being a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, it is also a holiday in Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory, and the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
3. The week of St Patrick’s Day is also “Irish Language Week”.
4. It is customary to wear green clothing and display shamrocks on St Patrick’s Day. It is rumoured Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.
5. Birmingham holds the largest St Patrick’s Day parade in Britain. It runs for more than two miles. It is said to be the biggest parade in the world after those in Dublin and New York.
6. St Patrick’s Day has also been celebrated on the International Space Station. In 2013, Chris Hadfield took photos of Ireland from earth orbit.
7. The world’s first recorded Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is said to have taken place in Boston on March 18, 1737
8. Though Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he was born in Britain around 365AD,
9. To celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Chicago, the river is dyed green.