Arts & Entertainment

10 Surprising Facts About St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick Credits:
St. Patrick's Grave in Downpatrick, Co. Down Credits: John Mooney

According to a WalletHub survey, more than 52% of Americans plan some type of celebration of St. Patrick's Day, and more than 82% of celebrants will wear green. Overall, $4.6 billion will be spent on dining, flags, clothing, and, of course, beer. Guinness estimates that more 13 million pints of its stout will  be consumed. While those facts might not be surprising, the following likely are:

1) March 17 is not St. Patrick's birthday; it's the day he died
He was born in 385 AD on an unknown date. After spending most of his adult life converting the pagans of Ireland to Christianity, St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD. (Source:
2) St. Patrick was not born in Ireland
His parents were Roman citizens living in England. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders who took him away and sold him as a slave. He spent several years in Ireland herding sheep and learning about the people there. At the age of 22, he escaped and made his way to a monastery in England. He returned to Ireland and converted the people to Christianity. (Source:
3) The church never canonized Patrick as a saint
Patrick died in 461 AD. The Catholic church's canonization process was not formalized until the Middle Ages. By then, he was widely recognized as a saint already. (Source:
4) Legend says St. Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland, but it is unlikely 
There is little evidence that snakes ever existed in Ireland. The climate is too cool for them to live there. Scholars suggest that the term "snakes" may have been a metaphor for pagan religious beliefs. (Source:
5) Patrick's color is blue
The original color associated with St. Patrick was blue, not green. Early artworks depicted St. Patrick wearing blue vestments. (Source:
6) Construction of New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral was halted by the Civil War
Although work began in 1858, the construction was disrupted by the Civil War. At the time, the area now known as Midtown was actually far north of most of the population of Manhattan. (Source: Wikipedia)
7) New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade pre-dates America's founding
The New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade is the country’s oldest and largest parade. The Irish tradition began 14 years before the Declaration of Independence on March 17, 1762. (Source:
8) More than 34 million Americans claim Irish ancestry
Irish ranks second to German among nationalities of Americans with European ancestry. (The number of Irish Americans includes people of mixed ancestry today. By contrast, 4.2 million people live in Ireland.)
The "Irish Diaspora" was a result of the country's troubled economic history, notably the Potato Famine, which wiped out about one-third of Ireland's population in the mid 19th century. Waves of people came thereafter, and during the Civil War entire regiments of troops were comprised exclusively of Irish immigrants. Later, Annie Moore -- followed by millions of others -- was the first immigrant processed through Ellis Island until the facility closed in 1954. Irish immigrants continue to come to the U.S. today, but not in the great numbers of the past. (Source:
9) Corned beef and cabbage is not an Irish dish
It is an Irish-American meal. In the late 1800s, many Irish immigrants were poor and could not afford to eat meat very often. They bought the least expensive cut of meat – brisket – which they would soak in a brine to make tender, and the least expensive vegetable: cabbage. (Source:
10) Alcohol was not served on St. Patrick's Day in Ireland until 1970
For many decades, St. Patrick's Day was a religious observance in Ireland during which all pubs were closed. In 1970, St. Patrick's Day was reclassified as a national holiday, thus allowing the taps to flow freely. (Source:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 2:30 PM

Canela Grocery and Deli, Plainfield

Canela Grocery to Host Healthy Corner Store Event

Food & Drink Health & Wellness


Sat, March 24, 9:00 AM

Plainfield High School, Plainfield

2018 Community Empowerment Expo


Sat, March 24, 10:15 AM

Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield

Easter Egg Hunt

Arts & Entertainment

Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity Basketball News

The Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity basketball team concluded a very successful season by capturing two championships over the weekend.  The Storm continued the basketball program’s winning ways when the team captured the school’s fourth consecutive Diocese of Metuchen CYM Varsity White Division Championship on its home court on Saturday evening.  The team then secured the ...

Union County to Host ‘Pledge and Protect’ Training Workshop for Older LGBTQ Adult Service Providers

March 23, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to host Garden State Equality’s ‘Pledge & Protect’ entry-level training workshop “Introductions to the Health Care Needs of the LGBTQ Population” free for organizations and professionals serving older LGBTQ adults.

Presented in collaboration with Union County’s Office of LGBTQ ...


March 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2018 – Despite her rhetoric, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, failed Wednesday to deliver on her promise to make schools safer for our children.

The two-term congressperson was one of only 10 representatives that voted “nay” Wednesday afternoon on the STOP School Violence Act of 2018.

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a ...

Retro Fitness in Manahawkin Calls Stafford Police to Remove Man for Praying for Another Member

March 21, 2018

STAFFORD, NJ - Retro Fitness club member and Long Beach Township resident Craig Fasler was escorted by a member of the Stafford Township Police Department out of the gym because an employee accused him of sharing his faith in public. 

TAPinto Stafford-LBI was contacted by a Stafford Township resident about the incident that took place on Wednesday, March 21 around ...

La tienda de comestibles Canela de Plainfield acogerá el evento de la tienda Healthy Corner

March 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - EZ Ride y la ciudad de Plainfield se han asociado una vez más con Canela Grocery and Deli para organizar un evento gratuito para los residentes que ofrece muestras gratis de bocadillos saludables, cupones, una rifa saludable de canastas e información nutricional. Atlantic Health también estará en el evento con una unidad móvil para proporcionar ...

Celebrando el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Estimados Plainfield,

Yo fui criado por dos mujeres poderosas e generosas, y me pasaron principios y valores que me han guiado durante mi vida entera. Mi mama persiguió la oportunidad y busco una manera de proveer para su familia. Ella dejo la isla de Barbados para poder trabajar en los hogares de los Estados Unidos, creando e allanando un camino para que sus hijos lo ...

Innovador Plainfield

Estimados Plainfield,


El crecimiento requiere evolución, la evolución implica cambio, y el cambio conduce a la innovación. Plainfield está evolucionando. Nos estamos adaptando para cumplir con los requisitos del renacimiento que está formando el futuro. No podemos esperar cambio positivo y sostenible si continuamos con el mismo ritmo de las ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)


“It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother. So the Bible tells it.” (p.320)

The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which is the Biblical explanation for the extreme pains of childbirth, casts women in the role of ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)


Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...