7 St. Patrick’s Day Traditions Explained
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but why are these traditions so significant?
1. St. Patrick – Patrick was an Irish missionary who was kidnapped as a child and brought to Ireland. March 17 is believed to be the day of his death.
2. The Green River in Chicago – The Chicago River has been traditionally dyed green for over 50 years. The color green is derived from the green strip in the Irish flag.
3. Parades – The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S. was in 1762. They allow people to proudly celebrate their Irish-American identity.
4. Shamrocks – Shamrocks used to be worn by the Irish in defiance of the ruling British class and to represent kinship among the native people.
5. Drinking Guinness – This Irish stout is the drink of choice on St. Patrick’s Day, with about 13 million pints consumed on the holiday.
6. Leprechauns – These little green men come from 8th century Irish folklore. They were said to make shoes and wreck havoc on unsuspecting humans.
7. Corned Beef and Cabbage – This tradition was begun by poor Irish-Americans of the 19th century. Corned beef and cabbage were the affordable option.