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by Allen Sheinman | March 14, 2014

Here are some fun facts and trivia about the venerable March 17 holiday.

1. Irony of ironies, St. Patrick wasn't Irish. He was born in Britain (around the year 390 A.D.), which makes him British.

2. Legend has it that St. Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland, but historians generally agree that no snakes ever existed on the island to begin with.

3. The generally accepted date of death of St. Patrick is March 17, 461 A.D., which is why we celebrate on March 17.

4. Since 1962, the Windy City has celebrated the day by dyeing the Chicago River green.

5. The U.S. Census Bureau reports there are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry -- more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.

6. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in Boston in 1737; New York City held its first in 1762,  when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through the town.

7. The people who make Guinness Irish stout estimate that on a typical day some 5.5 million pints are consumed around the world, but on St. Patrick's Day, the number spikes to circa 13 million pints.

Sources: Meetings & Conventions; Latin Times (latintimes.com); History Channel (history.com); National Geographic (nationalgeographic.com)