Saint Patrick’s Day: bet you didn’t know that…

Today is Saint Patrick’s Day… Sure, you might think it’s a day of four leaf clovers, the color green, Guinness beer and leprechauns but take a minute to learn a few core ideas behind this day of merriment.

To start, here’s how Answers.com introduces the holiday:

Had it not been for a band of Irish marauders in the fifth century, March 17 might’ve been plain old Maewyn’s Day — because Maewyn wouldn’t have changed his name to Patrick, and he likely wouldn’t have become a saint. In fact, it wouldn’t have been a Day at all.

But as it happened, a certain 16-year-old Welsh lad was kidnapped by those Irish marauders, and during the six years young Maewyn spent in servitude as a shepherd in Ireland he experienced a religious awakening, then spent years studying in a monastery. He took on a new name, Patrick, and a new calling — converting his countrymen to Christianity.

Ok, history lesson over… Here are some tips from the Answers.com folks on how to celebrate the day:

How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Wear green
  • Pin a shamrock to your hat
  • Speak with a brogue
  • Wear brogues
  • Drink Irish beer and spirits
  • Wish your friends and family “Top o’ the morning to ye” and every so often cry out “Erin go bragh!” (Ireland forever)
  • If you’re a mayor, dye your town’s rivers green and paint your lane markers green.
And if that’s not enough to get you going green, here are some trivia facts you can share over your beer:

Did you know?

  • There are six cities in the US named Dublin. Some 34 million US residents claim Irish ancestry — rather more than the entire population of Ireland itself, which stands at about 6 million.
  • Celts are pronounced kelts. Don’t be misled by the Boston Celtics basketball team, which is oddly pronounced seltics.
  • Irish whiskey, as opposed to Scotch, is sweeter, smoother, and almost never peaty or smoky. It’s also spelled with an “e,” while Scotch is spelled “whisky.”
  • Old Bushmills Distillery, in County AntrimNorthern Ireland, licensed in 1608 by James I of England, is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery.
  • The word whiskey comes from an Irish Gaelic term meaning “water of life.”
Read the full entry from Answers.com, learn more from the community with Saint Patrick’s Day Q&A and of course, top of the morning to ye…

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