Christianity recognizes St. Patrick as the Patron Saint of Ireland. Namely, the day is recognized in order to celebrate the Saint, but as many religious holidays do, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a cultural celebration.
In America, we have several interesting traditions revolving around the day, most prominently being the use of the color green. Many children (and still some adults) partake in pinching people they see that are not clearly wearing any article of clothing or accessory that is the color green. Many families enjoy including the green color into their food and beverage for the day, commonly enjoying green pancakes, green eggs & ham (an adaptation of the beloved Dr. Seuss book), green potatoes, green milk and yes, green beer.
In restaurants and grocery stores all over America, you can find menus and products dedicated to traditional Irish fare. The more popular items include corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes, Irish soda bread and yes, Ireland-brewed beers.
According to many of our Irish-born friends, St. Patrick’s Day is much more cause for celebration and parties in America than it actually is in Ireland! The city of Chicago famously colors their namesake river a rich, “Irish green” for the festivities and our very own San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day parade draws about 100,000 fun-loving spectators.
We encourage our students to go out and explore this culturally rich and fun holiday for themselves. Be sure to stay safe and smart when out enjoying the festivities and definitely be sure to wear something (or everything) green!