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    Fake beards on show in Copenhagen during St. Patrick's Day celebrations in 2007

    Top 5 Interesting Facts About St. Patrick's Day

    © AP Photo / John McConnico/Scanpix Denmark
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    On March 17, Ireland celebrates St. Patrick's Day in honor of the patron saint of the country. The Irish community as well as others participate in festivals, parades and other festive events all over the world. Here are some interesting facts about this holiday.

    St. Patrick Wasn't Irish

    Although St. Patrick is known worldwide for bringing Christianity to Ireland, the country's patron saint is not Irish himself. His parents were Romans and he was born in Scotland or Wales at the end of the fourth century.

    Patrick Wasn't Original Name of the Saint

    An Irish legend says that St. Patrick's original name was Maewyn Succat, but he changed his name to Patricius after he became a priest. Theoretically, the holiday could have been called St. Maewyn's Day.

    READ MORE: Green-Light the Leprechauns, St Patrick Is in Town

    St. Patrick's Parade in New York

    St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by the Irish community all around the world. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in New York in the 1760s. This Saturday, the parade started at Manhattan's Fifth Avenue in New York at 11 a.m. The festival usually lasts six hours.

    Blue or Green?

    Although nowadays St. Patrick's Day is often associated with everything green, St. Patrick's color was actually blue. The earliest St. Patrick portraits depict him dressed in blue. The color has been a symbol for Ireland for many centuries. Green instead was considered unlucky.

    Guinness sales rise twofold on St. Patrick's Day

    People all over the world consume much more Guinness drinks on St. Patrick's Day than on any other day. According to reports, some 5.5 million Guinness pints are sold worldwide every day on St. Patrick's Day the sales rise twofold.


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