Growing up, I attended a Catholic elementary school. I fondly remember the days leading up to St. Patrick’s day. There was always a flurry of fun activities surrounding this day and lots of green to be seen. Like his mama, Z.E.N. attends a Catholic school as well, and seeing his coursework on St. Patrick’s day sure brings back memories.
St. Patrick’s Day, fondly referred to as Saint Paddy’s day, is celebrated each year by millions of people across the world. It is in fact a national holiday and holy day of obligation for citizens of Ireland, in recognition of the life of Saint Patrick. However, the day is celebrated in other parts of the world such as the UK and the United States with perhaps even much more pomp and splendor than in Ireland. It is a day when people of all faith and nationalities adorn green attire and join friends and family to celebrate.
When is St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every year on the 17th of March. This is recognized as the day Patrick of Ireland died in the year 431 AD. Celebrations in commemoration of this saint can be traced back to the 700’s and was usually observed according to Catholic traditions. However, the day has gained a large secular following especially in the last century. It is meant to be celebrated at the beginning of spring which is officially on March 21st. This is one of the reasons why people wear green as a symbol for life, rebirth, and growth. Like the Irish say, if you need to attract good luck wear a “touch o’ the green” on this day.
Where was St. Patrick Born?
In as much as Saint Patrick is recognized as the patron saint of Ireland, his roots are not Irish. He became an important part of Irish heritage due to his services in the country during the 5th century. There are, however, differing views about his origins. Popular legends hold that he was born around 390 AD either in Scotland or Roman Britain. There are other scholars who state his year of birth as 373 AD. Though his Roman name was Patricius, his real name is believed to have been Maewyn Succat. However, these ancient controversies about the origins of this noble saint should not be a reason to hold you back from having fun on Saint Paddy’s Day.
Fun things to do on Saint Patrick’s Day
Joining in parades is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I grew up in New York City and they have a really wonderful parade there every year. In fact, there are parades everywhere across the country on this day. The first public parades for this day in the US were held in 1773 around the streets of Boston, Massachusetts. The parades have today become quite popular in most cities with some cities, like NYC, painting traffic stripes along parade routes green. Chicago, in Illinois, in fact dyes the waters of its river jungle green.
If you plan to have a St. Patrick’s Day party, the following three things will make this day fun for kids and adults:
Decorate in green
The theme of the party will definitely revolve around green color. You might decorate your home in such symbols as shamrocks, rainbows, pots-o-gold and leprechauns.
Food is an integral part of every St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The food theme should also be Irish. For example, you might prepare a dinner of corned beef and cabbage served with Irish lamb stew. A Sheppard’s Pie or green cottage cheese can make an ideal luncheon just for this day. Remember to add green food coloring to pizza cheese and other creative cuisines you can dream up. Serve kids with “green” party snacks preferably cookies designed in appropriate shapes such as little shamrocks and pot-o-gold. You can throw in bountiful bowls of Lucky Charms cereals for everyone.
It’s not Saint Paddy’s day without green beverages
Let different beverages flow on this day. For adults serve ‘green beer’ which is actually normal beer served in glasses or mugs with a few drops of green food coloring. Guinness Stout is a favorite beer for many on this day. You can also incorporate Irish cocktail recipes you can find online. Serve kids with green Kool Aid or Ginger Ale in green bottles. Irish coffee will also be great for everyone.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s day?