St. Patrick’s Day
Happy St. Patty’s Day!
Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day. It’s fun to dress up and be Irish for the day — even if you’re not — and this is is one of America’s most celebrated holidays.
St. Patrick’s Day is the holiday that honors, obviously, St. Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland. Unlike some “floating” holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is always on the 17th of March, the day Saint Patrick died.
St. Patrick’s Day is a chance for the Irish and non-Irish alike to celebrate “Irishness” in a bunch of different ways — some genuinely authentic, some creatively innovative, and some outright tacky — but none has proved more popular or enduring as the annual parades.
While St. Patrick’s Day is a fun, but unofficial, holiday for everyone around the world, it is a national holiday in Ireland, with the government shutting down and many businesses closing for the day.
For Roman Catholics, St. Patrick’s Day is a holy day of obligation in Ireland. Contrary to other parts of the world, the Irish church authorities do sometimes move the date of the holiday if it clashes with other Roman Catholic holy days.
In the U.S. St. Patty’s Day is celebrated by everyone of Irish decent (and everyone else who feels Irish for a day). It’s not celebrated in the States necessarily for its religious background as much as it is to mark the beginning of Spring and the appearance of Leprechauns with their Pot of Gold.
The tradition, of course, is to wear green on this day, because green is not only the color of Ireland and shamrocks but it also signifies life and growth — Spring. Legend has it that you will have luck if you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ireland
What’s St. Patty’s without a bit of the green and a trip to the pub? In America, all bars become pubs on St. Patrick’s. And you’d better be appropriately dressed for the occasion. Check out these easy accessories you can don before heading out.
St. Patrick’s Day was originally celebrated here in the United States in New York way back in 1737. I know! Who’da thunk that it went back that far, but it did. Since then, parades have become a popular way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The first record available says that the firs New York City Parade was on March 17, 1762, when a small gathering of transplanted Irish folks marched to John Marshall’s Inn in Manhattan.
Although today people wear a shamrock on the holiday to signify good luck, the roots of this tradition, date back to St. Patrick using the three leaves of the shamrock to explain to the pagans the concept of the Holy Trinity — the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But, today when you wear a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day, it means you are claiming good luck for the rest of the year.
In addition to the shamrock, most people believe the cute little Leprechaun character can bring you good luck.
You can find a bunch of St. Patrick’s Day Costumes here.
One of the most popular traditions on St. Patrick’s Day, in addition to dying Lake Michigan green for the day, is drinking green beer or ale. Many bars add green food coloring to their beer to commemorate the holiday. In addition to the green ale, many people add a shot of Irish Cream and/or Irish Whiskey to their drinks as well.
If you’d rather celebrate St. Patty’s Day at home with a grand party and a ball game on the flat screen, it’s easy to do. Here are a few and decorating options you can try. (Don’t forget to have some nice green lemonade or 7UP available for the kids and/or the designated drivers.)
I’ve found it fun to read more about St. Patrick’s Day, even though I’m not Irish. (I feel like with a name like Kelly, I should be!) The folklore surrounding this holiday makes it even more fun explore. There’s no better place than the History Channel to do some extensive digging, if you’ve a mind to. And you’ll learn some fascinating facts about Irish culture and customs if you check out this site. Or, if you’re planning a trip to Dublin, OHIO, the city has set up a special page where you can register online to participate in the festivities.