Everything You Know About St. Patrick's Day Is Wrong

03/14/2014 11:01 am ET | Updated Mar 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day is here! Typically, we associate the holiday with drinking, drinking, and drinking. Oh, and being Irish and green things.

But there's a lot more to St. Patrick's Day than most people know. Truthfully, you've probably been living a lie. When you learn all the facts, this holiday actually kind of... sucks.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but here are 10 brutally honest facts about St. Patrick's Day.

  • 10 St. Patrick wasn't Irish.
  • Historians believe he was born in what is now England, Scotland or Wales.
  • 9 St. Patrick's color is blue.
  • WE'VE BEEN LIVING A LIE. You might want to hold off on the green face paint this year.
  • 8 St. Patrick's Day as we know it was invented in America.
  • Really?! Catholic University's Irish American expert, Timothy Meagher, explains that St. Patrick's Day celebrations began in the 18th century in American cities with large Irish immigrant populations."It becomes a way to honor the saint but also to confirm ethnic identity and to create bonds of solidarity," Meagher explained. Really.
  • 7 March 17th is the day St. Patrick died.
  • So you're celebrating his death, you a**hole.
  • 6 St. Patrick didn't drive all the snakes from Ireland.
  • Probably because there's no evidence that snakes have EVER existed in Ireland. The climate is much too chilly for them.
  • 5 The shamrock isn't the symbol of Ireland.
  • Sure, you can find shamrocks all over the Emerald Isle, but the real symbol is the harp.
  • 4 St. Patrick's Day used to be a dry holiday.
  • Today's booze-bags look to the holiday as a great excuse to start drinking Guinness at 9 AM. Until 1970, however, all pubs in Ireland were closed in observance of the religious feast day.
  • 3 Corned beef and cabbage isn't a traditional Irish dish.
  • It's just about as Irish as spaghetti and meatballs. You're better off sticking to Guinness.
  • 2 There are more Irish people living in the U.S. than Ireland.
  • The population of Ireland is about 4.2. million. In contrast, there are around 34 MILLION people of Irish descent living in America.
  • 1 Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are slim to none.
  • 1 in 10,000 to be exact.


But let's end on a happy note. At least these two guys are Irish.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

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