Do you have your green clothing all ready to go for this St. Patrick’s Day? Whether you’re Irish or simply just Irish at heart, March 17th is the day people across the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by attending religious services, parades and lots of eating and drinking of traditional Irish foods and beverages!
History of St. Patricks Day
St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish history, heritage and culture. The Irish began immigrating to America as soon as the English started colonizing in the 1600’s, although the years during the Great Potato Famine in Ireland (1845-1853) brought the largest number of Irish immigrants to America. Over 2 million Irishmen, women and children left Ireland for America, which was over a quarter of the population of Ireland at that time. The Irish brought with them a strong sense of tradition and heritage, which we still celebrate today.
St. Patrick’s Day is a day of commemoration for the patron saint of Ireland, Patrick, who passed away on March 17th, 461. For centuries, this day was just a religious holiday celebrating the life of St. Patrick. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City in 1764. The first continuous St. Patrick’s Day parade was started in Savannah, Georgia in 1813 and continues to this day. Over the past 50 years, St. Patrick’s Day has become a more secular celebration. Cities and towns across the globe have parades in celebration of Irish culture. The largest parades are in New York City, Chicago, Boston and Savannah. But many other cities have long traditions of parades, including Cleveland, which has held a parade for the last 150 years.
Ways to Celebrate
Traditionally, Americans celebrate this holiday with parades however there are many fun ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Here are just a few:
- Feasts: Create the ultimate Irish feast with corned beef and cabbage, a side of Irish Soda Bread, and shepherd’s pie. For dessert, you can make St. Patrick themed treats featuring green-colored dye, shamrocks, and leprechaun hats.
- Parades: With many parades canceled this year, find one of the many St. Patrick’s Day parades featured on youtube to help get in the spirit!
- Wearing Green: Do not forget to wear green, or you may get pinched. This tradition stems from the belief that leprechauns, who enjoy tricks and pinching people, could not see you if you were wearing green.
Did You Know?
There is a lot to learn about this Irish holiday. Here are a few St. Patrick’s Day fun facts to get you started:
- The shamrock is Ireland’s national plant and was used in illustrations by St. Patrick to teach the Holy Trinity.
- While green is the present-day color of St. Patrick’s day, the traditional celebration color was blue.
- Corned beef and cabbage, a popular St. Patrick’s Day dish, was created in America by Irish-Americans who could not afford ham. Traditional feasts in Ireland usually include lamb and bacon.
- Pubs in Ireland used to be closed on St. Patrick’s Day because it was a religious holiday. In the 1970s, the Irish government allowed pubs to be open to promote St. Patrick’s Day as a tourist and cultural attraction.
- Leprechauns have their own holiday on May 13th but are commonly associated with St. Patrick’s Day.
Whether you are watching the parades or having an Irish feast, there are many ways to celebrate and American Senior Communities looks forward to celebrating with our residents! We wish you a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.asccare.com.