St Patrick’s Day is a celebration that has been around for centuries, with its roots stretching back to ancient Ireland. While the tradition today involves shamrocks, leprechauns and green beer, experts say it wasn’t until the 19th century that celebrating St Patrick’s Day and wearing green became popular.
St. Patrick’s Day Traditions + Party Ideas:
St Patrick’s Day Folklore
Who Is St. Patrick?
St. Patrick is considered the Patron Saint of Ireland.
A historical figure (shrouded in mystery), there is much speculation as to what he actually accomplished during his life. Scholars are only able to make educated guesses as to which stories were actually real, and which ones were fabricated over time and exaggerated for entertainment.
For example, St. Patrick himself is said to have lived for an incredible 160 years! Sounds like someone had a few too many green beers, to me.
Legend holds that St Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland when he arrived, though others maintain that it was just an metaphor describing his mission to defeat paganism in the country.
One thing is certain. St. Patrick’s influence and legacy continues to be celebrated in Ireland today! Whether it was chasing away snakes or finding religious enlightenment on the Emerald Isle, St. Patrick will forever be remembered as the patron saint of Ireland.
History of St Patrick’s Day
St Patrick’s Day has a rich and mysterious history. Whatever its origin, St Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in some form or another since the 17th century.
The holiday was actually brought to America by Irish immigrants in the late 18th century, who saw the event as an opportunity to reconnect with their homeland traditions.
Shamrocks + Four Leaf Clovers
The shamrock… it’s a symbol of Ireland (and good luck in general). However, you may be surprised to learn that it isn’t actually a four leaf clover!
Though often confused for one another, shamrocks and four leaved clovers are actually two different plants. Simply put, true shamrocks are white-clover plants with three leaves; whereas four leafed clovers are considered much more lucky. Each leaf of a 4-leafed clover is thought to bring luck in a different form: wealth, love, health and glory.
So while three leaves might seem cute and quaint, if you’re really looking to up your luck game by a few notches go ahead and hunt down a four-leafed clover!
Fun Traditions For St Patrick’s Day
St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the U.S. are traditionally marked by religious ceremonies, parades and of course, plenty of green beer! There are lots of fun St Patrick’s Day traditions to consider, when making your celebration plans.
While there may have be some antiquity to it, the modern celebration of this day involves plenty of indulgence and revelry. What better way to celebrate one’s heritage than singing Irish folk songs and donning shamrocks?
A Fun Excuse To Wear Green
The traditional way to celebrate includes donning the color green, searching for a leprechaun and collecting his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and carrying a shamrock to remember your Irish heritage.
Of course, there can be no St Patrick’s day celebration without beer! Not only does drinking beer on this special day give everyone a chance to raise a toast to St. Patrick and bask in the celebratory vibe it brings about.
Day Drinking / Pub Crawls
When you think of St Patrick’s Day, chances are the first thing that comes to mind are shamrocks, leprechauns, and of course the all-important Guinness! For centuries people have celebrated this March holiday as a commemoration for St Patrick- the patron saint of Ireland. Individuals wear shamrocks on their hats or clothing, and small children often place four-leaf clover drawings over everything from doors to furniture. The mischievous Leprechaun is another popular icon of the holiday, while Dubliners and all those who fancy a night on the town will often be seen raising a pint glass of beer in celebration. Whether you join in the traditional festivities or just carry on with your own personal preference, St Patrick’s Day is sure to be an enjoyable experience!
Fun St Patrick’s Day Activities
The following are some fun ways to celebrate St Patricks Day. Any of these are likely to kick start inspiration for a St Patrick’s Day Party – so dive into the local festivities near you to get your Irish spirit flowing!
Irish Dancing + Music
Many cities and towns host St Patricks Day events, which are sure to include performances by traditional Irish dancers. Adults and children are eager to perform around St Patricks Day, when they can show off their skills.
Traditional Irish dancing is a unique style; a lot of tapping (like traditional tap dancing), but with exaggerated leg movements, and notable stillness of the arms.
Here is one example of a man and woman performing a traditional Irish Style dance.
Watching A St Patrick’s Day Parade
If you’re able to catch a St. Patrick’s Day parade in your area, it’s a fun event for all ages. This is a great way to kick off the festivities for an Irish celebration to remember.
For The Kids: Creating A Leprechaun Trap
In modern times, kids have fun setting traps for Leprechauns the night before St. Patrick’s Day. Who knows… maybe that sneaky leprechaun will even leave a surprise to show that he stopped by (and evaded capture)!
St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas
With all of the above in mind, throwing a St. Patrick’s Day party can be a fun way to gather friends and embrace the Irish festivities near you.
Host A St Patrick’s Day Party Bus
Since many of the party-worthy events of St Patricks Day (like catching a parade, and day drinking with your friends) are likely to happen in and around your city or town, this is the perfect occasion for a party bus!
Go in with friends, or offer to host a party bus, which will ensure that your party people are safely transported to and from the day’s festivities (a big consideration for boozy holidays like this one).
Make Local Events A Part Of Your Celebration
Do some research to find events in your area, locate some Irish pubs around town, and you’ve already got some great “stops” for your party bus plans.
Gather your most hilarious party worth green attire, and you’re well on your way to a successful St. Patrick’s Day party.