Guinness – St Patrick’s facts
St Patrick’s Facts
On 17th March, more than 70 million people will get together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the national holiday that’s celebrated in more countries around the world than any other. Marked across 6 continents from Dublin to Dubai, London to Lima, Peru to Paris, Sydney to Stockholm, and Moscow to Montserrat, St. Patrick’s Day is all about getting together with friends and joining the global celebration
The Guinness Brewers are inviting people around the world to join the global celebrations, but how much do you really know about St Patrick? To prepare you for the celebrations Guinness is sharing 10 things you didn’t know about the Saint, the parades, and Ireland.
- St Patrick was not Irish
- That’s right, the Ireland’s patron saint was not actually from Ireland. He was born in Wales.
- Patrick wasn’t his name
- Despite there being over 100 male and female variations of the name Patrick. It wasn’t even his name – his real name was actually Maewyn Succat.
- Famous for freeing Ireland from snakes. This is unlikely to be true…
- …mainly because there were no snakes in Ireland in the first place.
- Green was not his colour
- Despite the green hats, green clothes and green face paint, St Patrick did not wear green himself. His vestments were blue, though a green shamrock or ribbon is understood to have been worn on St Patrick’s Day since the 1680s.
- Ireland does not have the most red heads
- Red hair is synonymous with the Irish. However, Scotland has the most redheads (13%) while only 10% of the Irish population have red hair.
- Patrick’s Day isn’t just a national holiday in Ireland…
- It’s also a national holiday on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean, a tiny island with around 4,000 inhabitants which became home to a large number of Irish emigrants in the 17th century.
- The first St Patrick’s Day parade was not held in Ireland
- The first St Patrick’s Day parade was held in Boston in 1737, the result of Irish immigrants celebrating their home country, culture and pride in their heritage, an event which has now been transformed into annual parades in New York, Boston and Dublin.
- Only two members of U2 were born in Ireland
- David Howell Evans, more commonly known as The Edge, was born in London, to Welsh parents. Adam Clayton, U2’s bassist, was born in Oxfordshire, England.
- Only Bono and Larry Mullen Jr. were actually born in Ireland.
- Ireland is not the biggest consumer of Guinness
- Ireland is not the biggest consumer of Guinness; of the total worldwide consumption of Guinness, over 30 per cent of it is in Africa, where three of the five Guinness-owned breweries are stationed.
- Ireland’s not only famous for a black and white stout…
- did you know, Zorro was in fact Irish – William Lamport was born in 1615 in Wexford
- …Dracula was created by Irish author Bram Stoker
- …alongside Guinness, the Irish were involved in some other inventions including:
- Colour photography: John Joly found a successful way of producing colour photographs from a single plate
- Trans-Atlantic calls: Lord Kelvin Thomson helped to lay the cable which stretched from Newfoundland to Valentia in County Kerry
- A cure for leprosy: Vincent Barry made this accidental and miraculous discovery, with the catchy title of compound B663. This compound would go on to cure 15 million people of this devastating disease
- The modern tractor: Harry Ferguson was responsible for the original Ferguson System of tractor, the same basic design for a modern tractor that is used today.
- The submarine: John Philip Holland was the first person to successfully launch a
- TheOscar statuette handed out at the Academy Awards was designed by Cedric Gibbons, who was born in Dublin in 1893.
References: St. Patrick’s Day global stats:
Failte Ireland, St. Patrick’s Festival – http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/info