Time to break out your green and get into the spirit of St. Patrick's Day 2016! It's the one day that you can dress up as a lucky leprechaun and pretend to be be Irish, if you aren't already.

Here are 5 fun facts about St. Paddy's Day that may surprise you.


  • Christopher Penler
    Christopher Penler

    The Very First St. Patrick's Day Parade

    Most people would guess the first parade was held in Ireland, with New York being a close second. Actually, the first St. Patrick's Day Parade took place in Boston in 1737. New York's took place 35 years later in 1762.

  • ÃÂÃÂ Thinkstock
    ÃÂÃÂ Thinkstock

    The Original Color of St. Patrick

    I'm sure you're thinking of the color green, but blue was the original color associated with St. Patrick. Green became synonymous with Ireland due to its green and lush countryside.

  • Jupiterimages

    The True Facts About Shamrocks

    According to Wikipedia, the true shamrock is a species of the clover.  Since the 18th Century, a shamrock has been used as a symbol of the 'Emerald Isle.' Shamrocks are actually members of a number of three leaf plants.

  • Peter Macdiarmia Getty Images
    Peter Macdiarmia Getty Images

    The Real St. Patrick

    St. Patrick is known as the "Apostle of Ireland" and the patron saint of the 'Emerald Isle.' His real name was Maewyn Succat.  Patricius was chosen as his name when he became a bishop.

  • Scott Olsen Getty Images
    Scott Olsen Getty Images

    The Green River

    The St. Paddy's Day tradition of dyeing the river green in Chicago started in 1961. 40 pounds of green dye is poured into the river every March 17th. The river stays green for about 5 hours.

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