As we enter March, there is much to consider about the exciting annual worldwide celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. There’s nothing like entertaining parades, green beer, Irish-inspired meals, and lively late-night parties on this one night a year. But, what are some of the most fun and interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day? Have you ever really considered where it comes from?

Quite honestly there are hundreds of fun and interesting historical facts about the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and where it came from. Start with the basic knowledge that this holiday goes much farther than the simple recognition of an Irish Catholic St. Patrick. It’s actually a federal holiday in Ireland that closes down all businesses. Additionally, the first American St. Patrick’s Day celebration was held in Boston in 1737.

While we all enjoy green beer today for St. Patrick’s day, would you ever consider the fact that the original color of St. Patrick’s Day was actually blue? It’s thought that the shift to green happened because of Ireland’s nickname “The Emerald Isle,” the green in the Irish flag and the shamrock, or clover. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn as early as the 17th century.

Likely, you recognize the 4-leaf clover as being the traditional emblem of Ireland and this national Irish holiday. But, do you know what those 4 leaves symbolize in Irish culture? Legend says that each leaf of the clover has a meaning: Hope, Faith, Love and Luck.

We all know Guinness to be a very popular Irish beer, but there are dozens of cocktail recipes made from this beer for St. Patrick’s Day. Interestingly enough, Shamrock Shakes are the next most popular drink for this holiday.

Now, the most interesting fact that learned when reading about St. Patrick’s Day was this: “The real St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family.” This one is definitely worth drawing much more research to all the unexpected facts that come along with this very entertaining international holiday!