10 Things You Didn't Know About St. Patrick's Day -- Including His Real Name

From drinking rituals to leprechaun lore, 10 tidbits to liven up your holiday

ByABC News
March 17, 2015, 12:46 AM

— -- intro: Looking for a little St. Patrick's Day trivia to sprinkle in conversation over corned beef and cabbage?

From religious observances to drinking rituals to leprechaun lore, the following 10 fun tidbits will provide a festive rejoinder or two among friends and family.

quicklist: 1title: In Fact, Patrick Was Not His Given Nametext: "Patrick’s ‘real’ (i.e. Brythonic) name was Maewyn Succat, or in Latin, Magonus Succetus," reveals Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning, citing Irish legend, in a recent educational infographic it created for the holiday. He took on the name Patrick when he became a priest.media:

quicklist: 2title: If It Seems Like Guinness is Everywhere, It Istext: Approximately 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide on St. Patrick's Day, according to WalletHub, which released a St. Patrick's Day by the Numbers report this week.media:

quicklist: 3title: Drowning the Shamrock Refers to Trefoilstext: The phrase “drowning the shamrock” is rooted in a tradition in which a shamrock worn on the lapel for St. Patrick's Day was tossed in the last drink of the evening.

Furthermore, the shamrock is not the symbol of Ireland. That honor goes to the harp. A popular icon of the holiday, the shamrock was used by St. Patrick to teach the Holy Trinity.media:

quicklist: 4title: Beantown Started the Party in the U.S.text: The first St. Patrick's Day celebration took place in America in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737.media:

quicklist: 5title: St. Patrick's Day Beers Were Verboten for Decades in Irelandtext: Despite the majority of modern-day St. Patrick’s Day celebrations centering around bar crawls and drink specials, from 1903 until 1970 all pubs were closed on the holiday due to religious observances.media:

quicklist: 6title: Chicago's Celebrations Are Uniquely Royaltext: An annual contest in Chicago, Illinois, votes to designate a "St. Patrick's Day Parade Queen" of that city, as well as a court. This year, 28-year-old schoolteacher Lauren Corry claimed the coveted title.media:

quicklist: 7title: St. Patrick's Day Rakes in a Lot of Greentext: The average amount American St. Patrick’s Day revelers will spend this holiday is $36.52 per person, totaling a combined $4.6 billion, according to a report by the National Retail Federation.media:

quicklist: 8title: Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but 33.3 Million Really Aretext: According to the most recent census data, 33.3 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry, which is seven times Ireland's total population, cites WalletHub.media:

quicklist: 9title: There are No Female Leprechaunstext: If Irish folk tales are to be believed, the mystical beings are expressly male.media:

quicklist: 10title: That Pot O' Gold Won't Go as Far as You Thinktext: If, by chance, one did happen to find a mystical pot at the end of a rainbow this St. Patrick's Day, and it contained 1,000 gold coins weighing one ounce each, WalletHub estimated the total current worth at $1.26 million.media: