Here are 5 surprising facts about St. Patrick's Day you may not have already known.

  • 1

    First St. Patrick's Day Parade

    The first St. Patrick's Day parade wasn't celebrated in Ireland, but in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. New York's first parade, which remains the biggest in the US, began in 1762.

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  • 2

    The Truth About Shamrocks

  • 3

    It's Not Easy Being Blue

    Blue was the original color associated with St. Patrick, not green. Green became associated with Ireland because of the greenness of the 'Emerald Isle' and the shamrock itself.

    Alain Le Garsmeur
  • 4

    Chicago Goes All Out

    While New York has the biggest St. Patty's Day parade in the country, Chicago wins the prize for 'Most Irish Spirit.' The city of Chicago uses a mixture of vegetable dye and other compounds to dye the waters of the Chicago River green each year.

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  • 5

    St. Patrick's Secret Identity

    It probably wasn't a secret, but not many people know that the one - day St. Patrick's original name was Maewyn Succat. Maewyn chose the name 'Patricius,' meaning 'nobleman' in Latin, when he became a bishop.

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