Why everything you know about St Patrick’s Day is wrong

He wasn't a Saint. Or called Patrick

Why everything you know about St Patrick’s Day is wrong

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

A day that is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival or celebration.

Today we raise a pint of Guinness to celebrate Paddy, the famous patron saint of Ireland who saved the country by driving the snakes into the sea. We all know that story, right?

Except there are a few problems with it. For starters, he wasn’t called Patrick. And he wasn’t a Saint. And he wasn’t even Irish.


Yep. So to save you getting such a crucial day in the drinking calendar wrong, here are the true facts about St Patrick and his Day:


St Patrick’s Real Name: Maewyn Succat

Sainted for: Nothing. He wasn’t canonized so wasn’t a Saint.

Place of Birth: Scotland (or possibly Wales). NOT Ireland. He was kidnapped at 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave to tend sheep.

First Recorded Celebration Parade Of St Patrick’s Day: Boston in 1737. New York followed in 1792.

First Recorded St Patrick’s Day Parade Celebration in Ireland: 1932

Colour worn by “St Patrick”: Blue. All paintings of him showed him in blue. He became green in the 20th century.

Clover: NOT four leaf. He used the three lead clover to explain the holy trinity in his work converting pagans to Christianity, so that’s the relevant one for him and his day.

Amount of alcohol traditionally drunk in Ireland on St Patrick’s Day: zero (it was a somber memorial and all pubs were forced to stay closed until 1970)

The Date Marks His Birthday: Untrue. It’s the date of his death.

FACT: He drove all the snakes out of Ireland: No. He definitely didn’t.


Not that any of the above should stop you from enjoying the craic tonight. Get yourselves outside one (or many more) of the 7.5 million pints of Guinness that will be enjoyed today. And watch out for more than 200 international landmarks that will be turning green from the Colosseum in Rome to the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia and the Chicago River.

La Fheile Padraig!