Patrick's Day - Jacob Kokaly

Elizabeth “Betty” Teevan

Have you heard the one about the Irish man who walked into a bar?

Here are 13 lucky facts on what this Irish holiday is all about. By birth, he was not an Irish, but he considered himself as an "adopted Irish". Until the late 20th century, St Patrick's Day was often a bigger celebration among the diaspora than it was in Ireland. The future patron saint of Ireland escaped captivity and returned to England, but according to his later writings in the 7th century, the voice of God called him back to Ireland as a missionary. They asked 433 adults lots of questions about life in Ireland, from the best way to celebrate Paddy's day (apparently it's by going to a parade), to how many of us have pulled a sickie on March 18 (a whopping 30%). He took the Latin name Patricius upon his ordination, which became St. Patrick (although he has never been formally canonised by a Pope).

This could be a bit contentious but there weren't any snakes in Ireland despite the tradition that St Patrick drove them all from our shores. Early artworks depicted St. Patrick wearing blue vestments.

Suppe pointed out that while St. Patrick really existed, he was not Irish, and he did not evict snakes from Ireland as legend has it. Today, few people (at least in America) do anything more than use St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to wear fun outfits and get drunk. "With that in mind, BIC is honouring St Patrick's Day with a range of Irish themed BIC pocket lighters that show some of the many sides of Irish life!" Irish immigrants to the US made the celebrations what they are today. Have a traditional Irish dinner of corned beef with cabbage and make sure that roast potatoes are on the menu. Surprisingly, the majority of Irish people won't actually spend it in the pub, according to a new survey by BIC Lighters. The parades and shenanigans in NY and Boston are very popular, but there are plenty of other cities and towns in which to find the luck o' the Irish. Now more than 100 St. Patrick's Day parades are held across the United States.

"Here in Dublin, the parade and the celebration is just on a much larger scale", said Alyssa Smith, another assistant director for Duquesne in Dublin. The Tourism Ireland agency said Friday that this year's "Global Greening" program transformed a record 275 sites in 44 countries, including Niagara Falls, the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome, the Manneken Pis statue in Brussels, and the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro.

A slave brought to Ireland at the age of seven, St. Patrick was forced to guard sheep for a number of years before he fled the country for France, where he trained as a priest before returning to Ireland.

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