Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Believe it or not, the day celebrated in honor of Ireland’s patron saint isn’t just an excuse to down pints of Guinness. Here are seven facts about the holiday that you probably didn’t know:
- St. Patrick was responsible for Leap Year proposals. According to legend, St. Bridget complained that women were tired of waiting for marriage proposals, so she took matters into her own hands by proposing to St. Patrick. It’s now tradition in Ireland that Leap Day is when women propose to their boyfriends.
- Wedding bells are ringing! Patrick’s Day is considered the luckiest day of the year to get married… unless it falls on a Saturday. According to this Irish proverb, Saturday is the worst day of the week to get married: “Marry on Monday for wealth/ Tuesday for health/ Wednesday the best day of all/ Thursday for losses / Friday for crosses/ Saturday for no luck at all.”
- Oh, baby! About 650,000 American newborn babies have been named Patrick over the past 100 years.
- Bottoms up! On any given day, 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the holiday’s go-to brand of beer, are consumed worldwide. But on St. Patrick’s Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million.
- “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” The Blarney Stone, a popular tourist destination, is reportedly kissed by up to 400,000 people a year.
- Send your love. Hard to believe, but Hallmark apparently sells anywhere from 8 to 15 million St. Patrick’s Day-themed cards each year.
- Day trip, anyone? Seven places in the U.S. are named Shamrock, in case you’re interested in taking an Irish-themed road trip.
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