St. Patrick's Day is celebrated each year on March 17th as a global celebration of Irish Culture. St Patrick was one of Ireland's patron saints. He is credited with bringing Christianity to parts of Ireland in the 5th century. He died on March 17, 461 and the St. Patrick's holiday commemorates his death.
The first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in the United States in 1601 in the Spanish Colony now known as St. Augustine, Florida. A century later, Irish soldiers marched in New York City in 1772. Celebrations grew from there. The New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade is the oldest and largest civilian parade in the US.
Why do people wear green on St Patrick's Day? Blue was actually the color associated with St. Patrick. But around the 17th century, green became more symbolic of the day. Green is one of the colors in Ireland's flag. Plus, green is the color of the shamrock, spring and the Ireland's lush landscape. It is said that green should be worn on St. Patrick's Day in order to become invisible to leprechauns. Otherwise, you might get pinched.
Have you ever heard of the luck of the Irish? It's a phrase that is often associated with St. Patrick's Day. However, it really refers to the gold and silver rush during the second half of the 19th century where some of the most successful miners were of Irish descent and therefore deemed lucky.
Why is a four-leaf clover considered lucky? Irish tradition says those who find one are blessed with good luck because the four leaves represent faith, hope, love and luck. Apparently, there's a 5-leaf clover and if you find one of those, you'll have even more good luck.
Would you like to bestow an Irish blessing on your friends? Try this one: "May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you."
Ready for dinner? As you sit down to celebrate with corned beef and cabbage you're actually enjoying a modified version of this authentic Irish dish. Historically, the Irish would have enjoyed cabbage and Irish bacon. However the Irish immigrants in the US couldn't afford bacon so they substituted it with corned beef.
As you celebrate St. Patrick's Day today, remember what the Irish say, "There are two kinds of people in the world. The Irish, and those who wish they were."