Leprechauns, Shamrocks, and Lots of Green!

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Leprechauns, Shamrocks, and Lots of Green!

Billy B. and Sadie A.

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St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated around the globe on March 17th because St. Patrick died on March 17, 461. He is the patron saint and the national apostle of Ireland, as he was the first successful Christian missionary in Ireland. Although many believe he was Irish, St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain, an area of the island of Great Britain which was under Roman rule. He was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. Though he eventually escaped, he returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to the countries’ people. After he died, many legends were created about him. One of them was that St. Patrick got rid of all the snakes in Ireland, but in reality the waters around Ireland are too cold for snakes to get there and there were truly never snakes in Ireland.

Although St. Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. It wasn’t like today’s huge, televised parades,though. It was only a few Irish soldiers who were serving the United States military. They marched to a pub on March 17 to honor their homeland saint. Eventually, other parades started sprouting up around cities. They were mainly Irish immigrants that participated in the parades. After a few years with separate parades, they later merged to form the huge parades that grace major cities today. The biggest parade is now held in New York City. The biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade ever was also in The Big Apple. It took place in 2002, where it was estimated that 300,000 marchers and 3 million spectators were at the site of the parade.

There are so many things that people  do during St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the holiday.

  • You can make St. Patrick’s Day crafts like rainbows, pots of gold, leprechauns, and shamrocks
  • You can go to Irish parties or watch Irish dancers
  • You can cook Irish cuisine such as: Irish potatoes, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, and Irish nachos
  • You can also watch humongous Irish parades with thousands of participants


In addition to the many crafts and fun activities, St. Paddy’s day is also known for its traditional foods. Corned beef and cabbage is very popular among Ireland due to cabbage being a big dish in Ireland. The reason for this love of cabbage comes from the potato famine. The potato famine was when a fungus like organism called Phytophthora infestans spread throughout Ireland. It infected crops all over, except cabbage. Other crops survived, but cabbage was one of the big ones that people ate. When the famine ended, the love of cabbage stayed. Irish dancing comes from the religious rituals. An interesting fact is that Irish dancers would dance to the oak trees and to the sun to appreciate their religion. Some people go to big Irish parades. At parades they will listen to the bagpipes while all different ages of Irish dancers will dance in groups. Have you ever done or attended one of these activities? If not, you should try one! They are extremely fun to do!

Irish immigrants started the famous St. Patrick’s Day parades in big cities, such as New York, Boston, and Chicago. St. Patrick’s Day holds many festive traditions like crafts and cooking delicious food.  Irish dancing and playing bagpipes are an important part of St Patrick’s Day celebrations because it helps Irish people in America to connect with their Irish roots and remind them of their ancestors’ home.

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