17 March 2021 (updated)

The Unique History of St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day may be one of the most popular holidays in Ireland and the US, but many people don’t know its traditions. Learn more about the Irish feast day and get ready for some celebrating!

Most of us are well aware of the modern-day traditions that make up St. Patrick’s Day. However, the story behind this Irish holiday is a lot less well known! In fact, much has changed since the days of the Irish missionary, known as Saint Patrick. While he may have spread Christianity and informed people about the Holy Trinity, there’s more to this day than history. Share your own traditions on your favorite family app!

What Is the History of St. Patrick's Day?

The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration took place in the year 1631 on March 17th. It was started as a feast day to celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland, who lived in the 5th century.

As the story goes, Saint Patrick was born as Maewyn Succat in Roman Britain in the 4th century. He was kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped capture, only to return in 432 to convert the Irish people to Christianity. His name, Patrick, comes from the name he took on when he became a priest. He passed away on March 17, 461 what established the famous holiday’s date.

What Are Some Interesting Facts About St. Patrick?

There are plenty of myths around St. Patrick’s Day origins and the man behind the name. Fortunately, we can dispel a few of the most common ones for you! Be sure to share your own knowledge about this holiday on FamilyApp.

  • The Date of St. Patrick's Day – Many people think that March 17th marks the birth of the Irish Patron Saint known as Patrick. However, this actually marks the day that he passed away in Saul, Country Down in Ireland.
  • The Color Green – Few things are synonymous with modern St. Patrick’s Day activities as the color green and the shamrock. But, this only became a tradition in the 19th century following the Irish Rebellion in 1798. Before this, the color linked to the holiday was blue!
  • Banishing the Snakes – There’s a story that Saint Patrick chased all of the snakes into the sea, and that's why they’re not seen in Ireland. While it’s a fun tale to tell, it’s not actually true. According to a scientific study, it appears there have never been any snakes in Ireland.

The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade along 5th Avenue in New York City, USA. 2005

What Are the Traditions of St. Patrick's Day?

Many familiar traditions make up the famed St. Patrick’s Day. Some have been around since the beginning, while others have adapted over time!

  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade – You can see parades during most important holidays, but the St. Patrick’s themed-parade started long after the holiday. In fact, Boston held its first parade to commemorate the holiday in 1737, followed by New York City in 1762.
  • Going Green – It may once have been blue, but the color of choice for this holiday is now definitely green! From St. Patrick’s Day clothes to the famous dying of the Chicago river, everything goes green for this holiday in honor of the shamrock. 
  • Corned Beef & Cabbage – St. Patrick’s Day might be popular as an Irish feast day, but eating corned beef and cabbage is actually an American tradition. In fact, corned beef became a replacement for the salt pork that was popular in Ireland. Share your own food traditions on your favorite family app.

Check out our very own Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe below!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

A traditional Irish recipe perfect for St. Patrick's Day festivities!

5 from 1 votes


PREP TIME

10 mins

COOK TIME

2 hrs

TOTAL TIME

3 hrs





COURSE

dinner

CUISINE

irish

SERVINGS

8 servings

CALORIES

540.0 kcal

INGREDIENTS

  • 3

    lbs

    corned beef brisket (with spice packet)

  • 10

    red potatoes (small)

  • 5

    carrots (peeled and cut into 3-in. pieces)

  • 1

    head of cabbage (large, cut into small wedges)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Corned Beef and Cabbage

    1. Prep meat.

      Put corned beef into large pot (or Dutch oven) and cover with water. Mix in the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Keeping the pot covered, bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 50 minutes per pound (or until meat is tender).

    2. Vegetables.

      Next, place whole potatoes and carrots into the pot. Cook until vegetables are almost tender. Add in the cabbage and cook for about 15 more minutes. Remove meat, and let the vegetables sit for 15 more minutes.

    3. Prep.

      Finally, put vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add a healthy portion of broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) until amount is as desired. Cut the meat across the grain for best results.

    4. Serve.

      Enjoy!

NUTRITION

Calories:

540.0 kcal

Carbohydrates:

51.3 g

Fat:

11.1 g

Protein:

58.1 g

Serving Amount:

1

Serving Unit:

serving

Sodium:

170.0 mg

Sugar:

7.4 g

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and it’s time to get out the green! The traditions may have changed over the years, but there’s something fun for everyone to do. Do you have any plans for St. Patrick’s Day 2020? Share them with us in our comments! Whether you attend a parade or dress up all green, take part in the Irish holiday celebrations!



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