St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, the person who brought and spread Christianity to the country. In 1631, the Vatican recognized March 17 as St. Patrick’s Day in honor of the saint. Since then, it has become a national holiday in Ireland and Northern Ireland and often is a celebration of heritage and nationality.
The symbolism of the day is widespread. Saint Patrick was known for using shamrocks to describe the Holy Trinity and to tell people “Wear the green.” Eventually shamrocks became symbols of St. Patrick’s Day. Plus, the four-leaf clover is a known to be lucky since they are so rare to find. In addition to that, since the clover was a symbol of Catholicism, it was also used as a symbol of Irish pride against the reign of Queen Victoria as the head of the Church of England. It has since become a strong national symbol.
Ways to Celebrate
Go Green! Dress up with shamrock earrings or rock a leprechaun t-shirt. Go full out or keep it classy with just an accent of green here and there.
Dance it out! Irish dancing is an internationally recognized sport, but it’s a great way to interact with your fellow St. Patty’s Day dancers. Find a class or follow along in a pub.
Join in the fun! St. Patrick’s Day is host to a whole host of parades and festivals. From Boston’s colored river to the massive celebrations in Dublin, there’s something for everyone.
Drink up! To of course link to Irish heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated with tall drinks of Guinness or a good drink of Irish whiskey. Not a drinker? Celebrate with an Irish tea!
Tip: After a long day of drinking and dancing, refresh your body with a good eucalyptus-green bath bomb.
Green Cakes! A fun way to get the kids involved is to bake or shop for a green cake! These celebratory cakes are another way to incorporate the national ties of Ireland’s green into your day of fun.
Did you know? St. Patrick was originally associated with the color blue, but eventually switched to green, although accounts are unclear on why.
Run for All! Many charities and non-profits will use St. Patrick’s Day as a way to start off the marathon and 5K season. Find one to spend the morning making this holiday a good one for others as well.