Why De We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – A Short History

Pints of green beer for St. Patrick's Day

Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Besides, being a time to don your favorite green apparel and hit your local pub, or your home, for some green beer or a pint of Guinness. But why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? And why is green associated with this day?

Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

The history of St. Patrick’s Day as an official holiday dates back to the 1900s, although it was celebrated as a national feast day in Ireland as early as the 10th century. St. Patrick, the most famous patron saint of Ireland, is regarded as the principal missionary who brought Christianity to Ireland. He was known to use the leaves of a shamrock to teach the holy trinity doctrine.

Initially, the color associated with St. Patrick was blue, but to honor him, people would wear shamrocks. Then, during a rebellion in 1798, Irish soldiers wore all green uniforms with the hope of drawing attention and support. This rebellion was known as the ‘wearing of the green.’ Eventually, green overtook blue, and shamrocks and their green color became the norm for those celebrating this holiday.

St. Patrick’s Day has since spread to all corners of the world. It is widely popular in Canada, the USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea.

Irish Traditions

While it is well known as a day for enjoying a pint of green beer, many other traditions are practiced, including church-going, parades, family meals, and the attendance of Ceilidh, traditional Gaelic festivals featuring Gaelic folk music and dancing.

The act of gift-giving on St. Patrick’s Day has gained prominence in recent years, mainly consisting of ‘themed’ presents. Items like green candy, chocolate shamrocks, Irish beer and spirits, and other Irish-themed gifts are all fun to give and receive. You might even discover the perfect gourmet gift idea on our St. Patrick’s Day gifts page on our website.

Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Food

Although traditionally served on St. Patrick’s Day, Irish dinners have become a popular dinner choice for any day of the year. Hearty Irish dinners include the ever-popular corned beef and cabbage, a slow-cooked meal that causes the meat to fall apart on your plate.

Shepherd’s Pie is mashed potatoes layered over a richly flavored meat base. Some families enhance the meaty flavor by adding a rich beer gravy to the ground lamb or beef. Whichever way you make it, you can’t go wrong with almost any meat and potato combination.

Also, an excellent accompaniment to both these meals is Irish Soda bread. A simple recipe that doesn’t require the dough to be kneaded or left to rise. Just throw all ingredients in a bowl and let your electric mixer do the hard work. The result is bread with the subtle sweetness of orange zest and currants.

Are you serving a non-traditional meal for St. Patrick’s Day? Add a touch of tradition with a mashed potato and cabbage side dish called Colcannon. Also, this makes a great side dish to the corned beef and cabbage!

Irish Blessing

No matter what you plan to do for this holiday, we wish everyone a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day and close this post with a traditional Irish blessing. Don’t forget to share & recite this with your family and friends this year and for years to come.

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends are yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!


Featured Photo by anaumenko from Fotolia now Adobe Stock