I could write you a story about how Irish traditions started and how the celebrations began. Or tell you the details of how, what and why there's a traditional menu each year on St Patrick's Day that's followed almost as if it's law.
You're probably sitting in one of the great drinking establishments that advertises with this magazine reading this while slamming a few Guinness beers or throwing back some Jamison Irish Whiskey, either or the last thing you want is a history lesson I'm sure. What I did for you this month is supply some fun facts that you can dazzle your friends with at your next St. Patty's Day drunkfest!
While you're looking for four leaf clovers or that sneaky little leprechaun and his pot of gold try to remember these little tidbits. Eat up, drink up and enjoy your holiday with friends and family!
- March 17th is traditionally the religious feast of St. Patrick.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.
- More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States. New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.
- At the annual New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade, participants march up 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street. Each year, between 150,000 and 250,000 marchers take part in the parade, which does not allow automobiles or floats.
- There are seven places in the United States named after the shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland including Mount Gay-Shamrock, WV; Shamrock, TX; Shamrock Lakes, IN; and Shamrock, OK.
- Sixteen U.S. places share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. With 44,541 residents, Dublin, CA, is the largest, followed by Dublin, OH, with 39,310.
- Other towns with the luck of the Irish include Emerald Isle, North Carolina and Irishtown, Illinois.
- There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
- Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, ranking behind German.
- Across the country, 11 percent of residents lay claim to Irish ancestry. That number more than doubles to 23 percent in the state of Massachusetts.
- Irish is the most common ancestry in 54 U.S. counties, of which 44 are in the Northeast. Middlesex County in Massachusetts tops the list with 348,978 Irish Americans, followed by Norfolk County, MA, which has 203,285.
- Irish ranks among the top five ancestries in every state except Hawaii and New Mexico. It is the leading ancestry group in Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
- There are approximately 144,588 current U.S. residents who were born in Ireland.
- Over 41.5 billion pounds of beef are produced each year for St. Patrick's Day, with the majority of it coming from Texas and over 2.5 billion pounds of cabbage are produced with the majority grown in California.
- Over 8 million St. Patrick's Day cards are exchanged in America making today the ninth-largest card selling occasion in the US.
- Over 94 million people plan to wear green on St. Patrick's Day.
- Irish soda bread gets its name and distinctive character from the use of baking soda rather than yeast as a leavening agent.
- Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations.
- The original Guinness Brewery in Dublin has a 9,000 year lease.
- The Oscar was handcrafted by an Irishman, Cedric Gibbons, who was born in Dublin in 1823.
- Bailey's Irish Cream which was launched in Ireland in the early seventies, is now the most popular liqueur in the world
Enjoy this sandwich with your favorite Irish drink!
Corned Beef with Sauerkraut
Dark rye bread
Swiss cheese slices
Sliced corned beef
Your favorite mustard
Arrange a layer of Swiss cheese on rye bread, Top the cheese with how many slices of hot corned beef you'd like, Top with sauerkraut Spread mustard on and top with another piece of rye bread.