St. Patrick’s Day is near

As we speak, EF College Break travelers are in Ireland, gearing up for their big St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Yes, we all wish we were there too. You can live vicariously through them by checking out the EFCB Tumblr blog. Travelers are posting live every day from the trips.

For those of us stuck at home, I offer five lesser-known facts about St. Patrick himself and the holiday that bears his name. Here we go:

1. Originally, the color associated with St. Patrick was blue, not green.

2. St. Patrick’s Day is held on March 17 because that’s the day St. Patrick died (back in the 5th century).

3. St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t named an official feast day in Ireland until the 17th century. It became an official public holiday in 1903.

4. For some years in the 20th century, a law in Ireland required that pubs and bars stay closed on March 17, in order to curb excessive drinking. The law was repealed in the 1970s. (Good move.)

5. In the mid-1990s, the Irish government started St. Patrick’s Festival, which showcases the creativity, innovation, and general all-around greatness of the Irish culture. It's been growing ever since.

Dublin is where you'll find the world's biggest St. Patrick’s Day festivities (that’s why the EFCB trip is celebrating there). They have parades, music, performances, and plenty of Guinness to go around.

If that sounds fun, you can do it next year.

Photo: LenDog64 via Flickr (CC)

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