15 St. Patrick's Day facts that might surprise you

Mary Altaffer/APAll decked out for the holiday.

On St. Patrick’s Day, the whole world gets to be Irish.

Financial website WalletHub put together an infographic that highlights some of the most interesting facts about how Americans spend St. Paddy’s Day.

For instance, did you know that St. Patrick’s Day is the third most popular drinking day in America? Or that cabbage shipments increase 70% in the week leading up to the big day? Keep reading for more fun facts about the holiday.

Chicago dumps 50 pounds of green dye into the river every St. Patrick’s Day.

REUTERS/John GressIt looks radioactive.

Don’t worry, it’s just vegetable dye.

Over half of Americans planned to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year — 57% to be exact.

Eduardo Munoz/ReutersParade goers.

The population of Irish Americans is seven times the population of Ireland.

Due to the coronavirus, parades across the country are being temporarily postponed.

And 79% of those celebrating plan to rock some green.

Clodagh Kilcoyne/ReutersAll green everything.

Even though St. Patrick’s traditional colour is blue.

Wallethub estimates that $US6.16 billion will be spent in the name of the Emerald Isle this year.

Wikimedia CommonsThe crowd outside an Irish pub.

Prices may be different now in light of cancellations and changes due to the coronavirus.

To put that in perspective, the average person spends $US40 during their celebrations.

Dennis Crowley/flickrThat can’t be cheap.

That includes buying green accessories for the perfect leprechaun-inspired outfit.

That’s a lot of Guinness — 13 million pints to be exact.

Jonathan Ernst/ReutersEven Obama enjoys a pint.

Guinness is served 819% more often on St. Patrick’s Day than any other day of the year.

All that Guinness adds up. St. Patrick’s Day is the fourth most popular drinking day in America.


It’s only behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and the Fourth of July.

But be careful to keep your alcohol consumption in check. 60 people were killed in drunk driving crashes on March 17, 2016.

Flickr via lendog64Shots all around.

It’s such a problem that Uber has stepped up to try and discourage people from getting behind the wheel by providing promo codes.

That’s approximately one fatal crash every 36 minutes.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty ImagesStick to walking.

It’s a better idea to stay on the footpath.

And 75% of those fatal car crashes involved someone who had at least twice the legal limit in their blood system.

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe NYPD gets in the spirit.

Seriously, just don’t drink and drive. Police are everywhere.

Besides drinking, Irish food also plays a part in the festivities. Cabbage shipments increase 70% in the week leading up to the big day.

Kacper Pempel/ReutersCabbage is a traditional Irish food.

In New Orleans, the St. Patrick’s Day parade substitutes cabbage for beads.

Over 30% of Americans celebrate by preparing a traditional Irish meal.

Tony Gutierrez/APCorned beef and cabbage stew.

Besides cabbage and corned beef, people also bake Irish soda bread and Shepherd’s pie.

Irish-Americans are all over the country. There are 193 cities in America with an Irish population of 10% or more.

Carlo Allegri/ReutersEveryone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish people are all around you.

And there are 16 cities named Dublin across the country.

Wikimedia CommonsThe Dublin Public Library in California.

But none do St. Patrick’s Day like the original.

Americans have been celebrating this day for 281 years — the first St. Paddy’s Day parade was in 1737, in Boston, MA.

Scott Eisen/Getty ImagesThe Boston parade today.

The Boston parade wasn’t just the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the US – it was the first one in the entire world. Ireland didn’t join the fun until years later.

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