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St. Patrick's Day HISTORY: Must-Know Facts, Trivia For Irish Holiday (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 05/17/10 06:12 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 04:50 PM ET

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today, March 17, 2010, La Fheile Padraig (St. Patrick's Day in Irish) is being celebrated around the world.

St. Patrick's Day is a great excuse to party, whether you are Irish or not. Though the holiday began as a Catholic feast day, it's become a secular celebration of Irish culture.

Named after St. Patrick, who lived in the fifth century AD, St. Patrick's Day is a public holiday in Ireland.

It's also a great day to impress your loved ones with these fascinating St. Patrick's Day facts. Feel free to share them and vote on your favorites!

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  • First St. Patrick's Day parade took place in 1737 in Boston

  • Saint Patrick was not Irish by birth; he was a Romano-Briton Christian missionary born in England

  • Did not become a national holiday in Ireland in 1903 and the first parade wasn't held in Dublin until 1931

  • An estimated 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed on St. Patrick's Day 2010, according to a Guinness spokesman

  • St. Patrick's true given name was Maewyn Succat

  • The color originally associated with St. Patrick was blue; green became associated during the 19th century

  • Saint Patrick was known for banishing dangerous animals from Ireland, particularly snakes, according to legend

  • St. Patrick's celebrations were originally religious festivals

  • There are more Americans of Irish origin than there are Irish in Ireland (36 million Americans claimed Irish ancestry in 2008; population of Ireland was 4.4 million at the time)

  • There are four places in the United States named Shamrock (West Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma) and nine Dublin's (Dublin, California and Dublin, Ohio are most populous)

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Filed by Craig Kanalley  |