St. Patrick's Day by the numbers - KCTV5

St. Patrick's Day by the numbers

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The Chicago River is turned green every year for St. Patrick's Day. (Source: WAFF) The Chicago River is turned green every year for St. Patrick's Day. (Source: WAFF)
Green is the traditional color of St. Patrick's Day. (Source: WTOC) Green is the traditional color of St. Patrick's Day. (Source: WTOC)
St. Patrick's Day has a huge following in Savannah, GA. (Source: WTOC) St. Patrick's Day has a huge following in Savannah, GA. (Source: WTOC)

(RNN) - All around the world Saturday, people of Irish descent - and those who claim it on this day - are raising pilsner glasses-full of Guinness to celebrate their heritage on a special day: St. Patrick's Day.

It's a day when the luck of the Irish is abound.

"If you hold a four-leaf shamrock in your left hand at dawn on St. Patrick's Day, you get what you want very much but haven't wished for," goes a famous quote by Irish author Patricia Lynch.

Signs that say, "Kiss me, I'm Irish" will be on full display. Streets will be lined by people in shamrock green garb.

Chicago and Savannah, GA, turn their rivers and fountains green for the occasion. Boston and New York will hold the two largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the country. As far South as Argentina at the end of the populated Earth, Irish music will liven up pubs.

The message is simple: Everyone, regardless of his or her background, can take pride in a rich history and culture.

Here's a look at St. Patrick's Day by the numbers:

14: Age of St. Patrick when he was kidnapped from Scotland and sent to Ireland to be a slave herder.

40: Number of years St. Patrick - the patron saint of Ireland - preached Christianity in the country.

17: Day that St. Patrick died in March of 461. Thus, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on this date every year. Next year, March 17 will fall on a Sunday.

3-4: Leaves on a shamrock. The traditional shamrock has three leaves and was used by St. Patrick to teach about the Holy Trinity. A shamrock with four leaves is considered a sign of luck.

2: Cities named "Shamrock" in the U.S., located in Texas and Oklahoma. The shamrock is Ireland's official flower.

4.5 million: Population of Ireland.

1845: Year of the Great Potato Famine, which sent many Irish fleeing to America.

36.9 million: U.S. residents with Irish ancestry.

1762: Year of the first St. Patrick's Day parade in America.

3: Ingredients in the infamous Irish car bomb: Irish stout (Guinness), whiskey (Jameson) and creme (Baileys).

100: Countries where Guinness is available for purchase, half of which brew the famous Irish stout.

10 million: Glasses of Guinness consumed every day.

1.8 billion: Pints of Guinness sold every year.

13 million: Pints of Guinness consumed on St. Patrick's Day.

1740: Year Jameson Irish whiskey was born.

220 million: Liters of milk per year used to make the fresh cream in Bailey's; 38,000 dairy cows produce the milk on 1,500 farms, primarily on Ireland's East coast.

180: Countries where Baileys is sold.

50: Percent of spirits exported from Ireland with the Baileys label.

2,300: Glasses of Baileys enjoyed every minute around the world.

2.3 billion: Pounds of cabbage produced in the U.S. in 2009. Served with corned beef, cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick's Day meal.

4: Times the word "may" is used in the old Irish Blessing: "May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand."

Copyright 2011 and 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved. Sources: The History Channel, National Geographic News, Catholic Online, Guinness, Jameson Whiskey and Baileys.

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