Though St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional Irish holiday, people all over Canada, the U.S., Irish or not, love to celebrate the holiday. There are scads of ways people have found to celebrate, some going back to the holiday’s origins, and others invented just for kicks. Let’s have a a look at some of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day Traditions!
St. Patrick’s Day became an official holiday in Ireland in 1907, though it’s origins can be traced back to the ninth and tenth centuries. The holiday was first celebrated in the U.S. in Boston in the 1700’s.
St. Patrick’s Day Traditions
THE WEARING OF THE GREEN
One of the easiest and most popular ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to wear green. To some this may mean wearing a green shirt, and to others it means going all out with bright green outfits, hats, glasses, and beads. This tradition has spawned its own tradition of pinching those who aren’t wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADES
St. Patrick’s Day parades are many people’s favourite part of the holiday. Dublin, Ireland hosts a huge parade attended by millions each year and almost every major Canadian and U.S. city celebrates with at least one parade. Cities with large populations of Irish, like Chicago and New York, feature multiple parades and various festivals as well, many of which have been going on for over a hundred years.
As with most things Irish, drinking is a large part of St. Patrick’s Day. A traditional pint of Guinness beer is a popular choice and many bars and pubs even serve green beer. Many pubs entertain their customers with live traditional Irish music or dancing while customers get their fill.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY FOOD
St. Patrick’s Day food is the best! Many celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a party with friends and family. Corned beef and cabbage is the traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebratory meal, accompanied by some potatoes and carrots. Irish soda bread also helps top off the meal. Other Irish food selections include Irish stew and shepherd’s pie. Many restaurants also feature special corned beef selections that may not typically be on their menu.
For a less traditional approach, many people enjoy McDonald’s festive green Shamrock Shake-a mint flavoured version of their milkshake only available in February/March.
OTHER ST. PATRICK’S DAY TRADITIONS
- St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is met with the St. Patrick’s Festival, a 3 day event celebrating Ireland and its most favourite saint, with an emphasis on teaching attendees about Ireland.
- In Chicago, the Chicago river is dyed green each year before the downtown parade begins.
- Additionally, many sports teams recognize the holiday by wearing special green St. Patrick’s Day jerseys and uniforms.
St. Patrick’s Day is a dearly loved holiday throughout the world, by Irish and non-Irish alike. The St. Patrick’s Day traditions are an important part of the holiday’s stamina and popularity and it seems everyone is happy to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.