St. Patrick’s Day Round-Up: Spending, Trivia, and Patty’s or Paddy’s?

We ventured out into the Internet to find some fun St. Patrick’s Day blurbs for you, and here are a few pieces of gold at the end of the rainbow:

1.  According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are planning to spend a record $7.2 billion . . . or $44.40 per person . . . on the holiday this year.  Most of that will be on food and beverages.  (Probably more BEVERAGES than food.)

2.  A record 62% of consumers, or 162 million Americans, are planning to celebrate.  Maybe by:  Wearing green . . . making a special dinner . . . going to a party or a bar . . . decorating their home . . . or hosting a party.

3.  A while back, posted a fun list of “50 St. Patrick’s Day trivia questions,” and there are some good ones like:  “According to folklore, what’s a leprechaun’s occupation?  Answer:  Shoemaker.”  (There’s more, here.)

4.  Do you say St. Patty’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day?  Only one is correct, and it’s Paddy’s with Ds not Ts.  Patrick is the Anglicized version of the Gaelic name “Pádraig.”  Because St. Patrick’s Day is originally an Irish holiday . . . and Gaelic is a traditional Irish language . . . the right nickname is Paddy.

BLUE WAS THE ORIGINAL COLOR TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ST. PATRICK — For centuries both St. Patrick and Ireland were closely associated with the color blue, not green like everyone assumes. Eventually, green took over. No one is entirely sure why. It’s possible that it was because people started wearing green shamrocks in their hair and on their clothes during the 19th century, but the most striking historical example of green’s rise to power took place during the 1798 Irish rebellion when local soldiers dressed all in green on St. Patrick’s Day in order to draw attention to their cause.

ST. PATRICK TAUGHT THE IRISH ABOUT CHRISTIANITY USING A SHAMROCK — The reason the shamrock is so important to both Ireland and the St. Patrick story is because legend has it that St. Patrick explained the Holy Trinity to the native Celts using the three-leafed shamrock.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY IS AN OFFICIAL PUBLIC HOLIDAY IN ONLY THREE COUNTRIES — Ireland is obviously one of them. But the other two are a little more obscure. The Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is one. The Caribbean island of Montserrat also celebrates St. Patrick’s Day as an official public holiday which might seem completely bizarre until you realize that the island nation was founded by Irish settlers.