St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and now is a great time to learn about its traditions. There is much more to the day than lucky charms, shamrocks, and kilts; however, unless you are Irish chances are you may not know about them. If you are looking for a unique way to celebrate this traditional Irish holiday or if you just want to know more about it, we can help. Here are some interesting St. Patrick’s Day traditions that you should know about.
Top St. Patrick’s Day Traditions
What Is St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day started in Ireland as a way to give honor to the patron saint of the country. In modern times, March 17th goes beyond the original purposes thanks to secularization and an influx of non-Irish people in the country. The day was also a way to celebrate during the Catholic Lent season which is one of the main reasons there is so much focus on drinks and food from Ireland. As Irish immigrants moved to other parts of the world, they took their St. Patrick’s Day spirit with them and shared it all over the world.
Abundant & Glamorous Meals
For most people, St. Patrick’s Day comes in the middle of Lent. Fasting is an important part of Lent, and the break of St. Patrick’s Day comes as a welcome reprieve. Most will serve extravagant and abundant meals to their families and friends before fasting resumes. Depending on where you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, there may be religious events hosted by the Catholic church paired with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It is common to find copious amounts of soda bread, corned beef, and cabbage, all of which are traditional Irish fare. Other common staples are shepherd’s pie and colcannon, all of which are washed down with a cold pint of local brew.
Parade of Leprechauns
There is no St. Patrick’s Day without a few leprechauns and a bucket load of shamrocks. Leprechauns have been a part of Irish Celtic folklore for many centuries. Some folk tales paint them as evil creatures to be feared while others portray them as good luck omens. Parades and events around the world will usually have several leprechauns bringing life to the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day. Though modern leprechauns are often clad in green, culturally they always wore red which is an often forgotten fact about the holiday.
Lively St. Patrick’s Day Music & Festivals
There is no holiday without a lot of Irish music, especially that of the traditional folk variety. In most places, there will be live bands playing both modern and classic Irish music to help celebrate the day. Most social gatherings or céilí events will also have dancing in addition to live music. If you are looking for an authentic St. Patrick’s Day performance, this is the type of event you should aim to attend. Many céilís are organized by Irish cultural groups so not only will you get a chance to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but also Irish culture as a whole.
Irish cultural groups in the U.S. also organize céilís and teach the specific form of Gaelic dance that usually accompanies folk music. These gatherings are not limited solely to St. Patrick’s Day but are a common way to celebrate Irish culture on the holiday itself.
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