In honor of St. Patrick's Day on March 17, here are 10 interesting facts about the holiday to share with your friends, family and whoever you meet at the bar this weekend:
- St. Patrick's Day ranks fourth among the most popular drinking days, after New Year's Eve, Christmas and the Fourth of July.
- Thirty-one percent of Americans cook a special dinner on St. Patrick's Day.
- A little more than 20 percent of the residents of Massachusetts say they are Irish; 20.6 of those in New Hampshire claim Irish ancestry.
- It takes 40 pounds of dye to turn the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day. The tradition began in 1962.
- St. Patrick was responsible for Leap Year proposals. According to legend, St. Bridget complained that women were tired of waiting for marriage proposals, so she took matters into her own hands by proposing to St. Patrick. It's now tradition in Ireland that Leap Day is when women propose to their boyfriends.
- Patrick's Day is considered the luckiest day of the year to get married... unless it falls on a Saturday. According to this Irish proverb, Saturday is the worst day of the week to get married: "Marry on Monday for wealth/ Tuesday for health/ Wednesday the best day of all/ Thursday for losses / Friday for crosses/ Saturday for no luck at all."
- According to the U.S. Census, 650,000 babies are named Patrick in a year.
- On any given day, 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the holiday's go-to brand of beer, are consumed worldwide. But on St. Patrick's Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million.
- Hard to believe, but Hallmark apparently sells anywhere from 8 to 15 million St. Patrick's Day-themed cards each year.
- Sixteen places in the U.S. are named Dublin, in case you're interested in taking an Irish-themed road trip.