St Patrick's Day is a global celebration of Irish culture on or around March 17. It particularly remembers St Patrick, one of Ireland's patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century.
Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.
St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in 1737, organized by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston, including a feast and religious service. This first celebration of the holiday in the colonies was largely to honor and celebrate the Irish culture that so many colonists had been separated from.
This holiday is celebrated every year on March 17th, honoring the Irish patron saint, St. Patrick. The celebrations are largely Irish culture themed and typically consist of wearing green, parades, and drinking. Some churches may hold religious services and many schools and offices close in Suffolk County, the area containing Boston and its suburbs.
People all over the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially places with large Irish-American communities. Feasting on the day features traditional Irish food, including corned beef, corned cabbage, coffee, soda bread, potatoes, and shepherd’s pie. Many celebrations also hold an Irish breakfast of sausage, black and white pudding, fried eggs, and fried tomatoes. Common traditions include:
- Parades – This event is most often associated with the holiday. Cities that hold large parades include Boston, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Savannah, and other cities worldwide.
- Drinking – Since many Catholics are Irish-American, some may be required to fast from drinking during Lent. However, they are allowed to break this fast during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. This is one cause for the day’s association with drinking heavily.
- Dying water or beer green – Chicago dies its river green for the festivities, and many bars serve green-dyed beer. The White House fountain is also dyed green.
- Other incorporations of green – In Seattle, the parade routes are painted in green. Observers are supposed to wear green or else risk being pinched. Parade floats and decorations will feature the color green.