St. Patrick’s Day

Look into the history and traditions of St. Patrick’s Day!


Photo by Pascal Bernardon on Unsplash

The New York parade is in full swing!

The New York parade is in full swing!

St. Patrick’s Day is a very popular holiday in March! Lots of people take off work and get ready to party and enjoy the day! There are many traditions, food, and games that people participate in to show their St. Patrick’s Day spirit! Wearing green is a big part of it and you will get pinched if you don’t!

St. Patrick’s Day started around the ninth and 10th century. St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century. He was kidnapped when he was 16 and was taken to Ireland to be a slave. There is a legend that says that St. Patrick was actually named Maewyn Succat but he changed his name to Patrick because in Latin it means “father figure” when he had become priest. St. Patrick had escaped and converted the Irish to Christianity. During his life he had built monasteries, churches, and schools. He passed away March 17th, 461.  The holiday falls in Lent so it offers a day off for Christians from the abstinence leading up to Easter. The originally color of St. Patrick’s Day was blue until the Irish Rebellion. The reason it was blue was because the royal court and ancient Irish flags used blue also.

Lafayette is getting in the spirit!

Later in St. Patrick Day history, Ireland decided to shut down everything down including pubs but there was a marketing push from Budweiser in the 1980s. People that live in Ireland in the Roman Catholic have been celebrating this feast. The first parade in America was March 17th, 1762. It was at the time a Spanish colony but now is known as St. Augustine, Florida. A century later Irish soldiers marched in New York City on March 17th, 1772. St. Patrick’s Day became a way for the Irish Americans to celebrate their culture after coming into the United States wanting too escape starvation. We celebrate St. Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and we as Americans and though who may not be Irish celebrate the culture.

Listening to traditional music!

The Irish patriotism had trickled quickly over into America and Americans starting enjoying it too along with the Irish of course! In 1848, many New York Irish societies wanted to form one official St. Patrick’s Day for New York City. That parade today is still going on and is the world’s oldest civilian parade and there is over 150,000 participants in it from not just form people in the United States, but people from all over the world. Every year, there’s around 3 million people that do the 1.5 mile parade route. This walk takes around 5 hours. This year the parade takes place on Friday, March 17, 2023. There will be many people attending to either watch or participate in this amazing parade and it will be the highlight of many people’s St. Patrick Day. Other big cities like Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Savannah have big parade walks and there are between 10-20,000 people that participate. Chicago colors their river green to celebrate the holiday every year. All over the United States, St. Patrick’s day is celebrated in many different forms and everyone enjoys their bits of it in different ways as they chose to.

Lots of different decorations!

Food that is popular to eat during St. Patrick’s Day is corned beef and cabbage. The reason that corned beef and cabbage is such a big thing during St. Patrick’s Day is because those foods were less expensive when the immigrants first started coming to America. They were substituting beef for pork and cabbage for potatoes. Beer is also dyed green to celebrate the day. Some recipes for different treats and meals during St. Patrick’s Day are Irish Soda Bread, Flat White Martini, Irish Coffee, Shamrock Soda Bread, Shepherd’s Pies with Lamb, Corned Beef Sandwiches with Pickled Mustard, Corned Beef Hash, Leprechaun Chow, and Green Velvet Silver Dollar Pancakes! Many restaurants take upon these traditions and make their own green food, drinks, and other delicious foods that everyone will enjoy.

Getting all the energy to party!

Overall, there are many different traditions, games, and foods associated with St. Patrick’s Day every year. It is a holiday that everyone enjoys even people who aren’t Irish! People add their own spin to this special day every year to make it a fun day for them to remember. If you don’t wear green remember to watch out and don’t get pinched!