Saint Patrick's Day is a national Irish holiday that is celebrated on 17 March every year. It is a celebration of Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, who died on that date. This day has now become an international festival dedicated to celebrating Irish culture, with parades, Irish dancing, Irish traditional music, and everyone dressed in green. Every year across Ireland there are hundreds of parades, the largest being in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. It is a very important cultural event for Irish people and many tourists come to Ireland to celebrate the occasion.
Irish people uphold a number of traditions on Saint Patrick’s Day. These include:
- Everyone in Ireland must wear an item of green clothing. If they don't, then the tradition is to pinch the person who isn't wearing green.
- Corned beef and cabbage is the traditional meal eaten by many Irish families on this day.
- Many Irish people like to dress up on this occasion, the most popular costumes being a leprechaun or Saint Patrick himself.
- People wear Irish hats and scarves that are green, white and orange.
- Irish pub-goers will all have a pint of Guinness on this day.
- Lastly, many Irish people wear a shamrock on their clothing, as it is the iconic symbol of Ireland.
Ireland is not the only country that celebrates Saint Patrick's Day. Across the world there are many cities that also celebrate 17 March. In the USA alone there are a number of events such as the huge Saint Patrick's Day parade in New York, dyeing the Chicago River green for the occasion, and turning the lights on the Empire State Building green for the night. Elsewhere, the Sacré-Coeur in Paris and the London Eye in the UK will both have a green glow in honour of Saint Patrick.
For many Irish people, including myself, it's a special day to celebrate the Irish culture with family and friends.
Have you ever been to a Saint Patrick's Day parade? Are there any iconic landmarks in your county that celebrate Saint Patrick's Day?