Here are some little known facts about one of the biggest and most festive days in everyone’s Party Calendar. Why March 17? St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 to commemorate his death on the day in 461 AD. Not Patrick? St Patrick was originally named Maewyn Succat at birth. He changed his name to Patricius after being ordained as a priest. Not IRISH Either?? St. Patrick WASN’T Irish. He was captured by Irish raiders when he was just 14 and taken to Ireland where he spent six years in slavery herding sheep. He returned to Ireland in his 30s as a missionary. He Wore Blue! Green green green everywhere. Did you know that St. Patrick’s colours were actually BLUE? Snakes A common myth is that St.Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland. Only one problem to that little tale… Ireland never had snakes to begin with. The First Parade Dublin attracts thousands of people during St. Patricks Day. However, the very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not even in Ireland. It was in America. There is some confusion on which city ran it first. Some claim it was in Boston in 1737 and others say New York in 1762. The Shamrock The popular Irish Shamrock (3-leaf) should not be confused with the ‘Lucky 4-leaf clover’. What are your chances of getting a 4-leaf clover? Probably one in 10,000. Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck. No Pubs Flowing booze taps and pints of Guinness everywhere would probably pop into mind when you think of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Maybe now, but it wasn’t always that way. Irish law, from 1903 to 1970, declared St. Patrick’s Day a religious observance for the entire country meaning that all pubs were shut down for the day. That meant no beer for public celebrants. The law was overturned in 1970, when St. Patrick’s was reclassified as a national holiday – allowing the taps to flow freely once again. Time For A Guinness About thirteen million pints of Guinness are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day, double the amount consumed on other days. Irish In Asia There are several Irish societies across Asia for several years. Singapore’s St. Patrick’s Society, which brings together the Irish community in the country, has been active for over 89 years. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!