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5 Things You Didn’t Know About St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day rolls around every March with bright green outfits and parades to celebrate the holiday. But how much do you really know about St. Paddy’s? Her Campus CNU has the scoop with five facts you didn’t know. 

1. This year, DealNews estimates $262 million will be spent on beer for St. Patrick’s Day festivities. 

2. Each year, the Chicago River is dyed bright green to celebrate the big day. That’s a lot of dye!

3. McDonald’s Shamrock Shake was inspired by Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill. While in the hospital with his daughter who was being treated for leukemia, he decided to raise funds for families who had to travel long distances to be with ill relatives and didn’t have money for a place to stay. He worked with a McDonald’s ad agency in the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day to create the Shamrock Shake. The iconic beverage was made green, just like the Philadelphia Eagles’ team color. All profits were used to open the first Ronald McDonald House in 1974.

4. St. Patrick’s Day was an alcohol-free holiday in Ireland up until 1970 when it became a national holiday. Prior to then, the day was viewed as strictly religious, meaning all pubs were closed for St. Paddy’s. 

5. Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish – he was actually British. He was captured at the age of 16 and sold into slavery in Ireland. After six years he returned home to England, but later returned to Ireland to spread his faith to the Irish people. And the rest is history!

Lee Martin is a 20-year-old junior at Christopher Newport University majoring in Communication Studies with minors in Leadership and Women's & Gender Studies. She co-founded CNU's chapter of Her Campus and currently serves as Co-Campus Correspondent/Editor-in Chief, as well as a Chapter Advisor to five other campuses. As a journalist, she has written for The Oyster Pointer, The Winchester Star, and worked with National Student Leadership Conference's Journalism, Film & Media Arts program. When not writing, you can find her binging on chocolate and coffee while laughing at Parks and Rec or The Office. If you must read her silly musings, follow her on Twitter at @loveleeforlife
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