St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in Ireland dating all the way back to the 9th or 10th century. It began as a religious holiday to commemorate Saint Patrick for bringing Christianity to Ireland and is celebrated on March 17, the day that is thought to be the anniversary of his death. Formally known as “Feast Day,” Lenten food and alcohol restrictions were lifted for Irish Catholics to break their fast for one day. The morning would be spent attending mass followed by a feast, drinking and music. So how did we get from a religious holiday celebrated only by the Irish to a large party that’s celebrated all over the world?
In the 18th century, as Irish immigrants came to the American colonies they brought their holiday traditions with them. This is when Saint Patrick started to become the symbol of all things Irish. Then, in the 19th century, a mass migration of Irish immigrants to the United States escaping the Great Famine led to an increase of people celebrating their homeland holiday. Wanting to join the fun, this ultimately led to St. Patrick’s Day being celebrated by all – Irish or not.
Over time the holiday has become a day that is celebrated worldwide with new, more modern traditions. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of all things Irish – parades, drinking and green everything!
An Irish Feast
We eat Irish foods on St. Patrick's Day such as corned beef and cabbage since the holiday has traditionally been celebrated with a large feast. Make your St. Patrick's Day feast using any of these delicious recipes!
Drinking on St. Patrick's Day has been a longstanding tradition in Ireland, while green beer and large parades are new traditions that began in the United States. Grab a Guinness, add green dye to your favorite Lager or try one of these festively green drinks!
An unexpected combo made with familiar flavors – the Jameson® Cold Brew & Cola is the perfect way to shake up any occasion. Try it for yourself to discover the smooth taste of Jameson combined with the rich taste of coffee and cola.
Lastly, we wear green in reference to the Irish soldiers who wore green as they fought the British in their iconic red coats during the Irish Rebellion. Green is also the color of the shamrock, which was said to be used by Saint Patrick to explain the Christian Holy Trinity in his teachings. However, wearing green was popularized after Chicago first dyed their river green in 1962.
So, grab your green, fill your plates and mugs and go celebrate the day in any Irish way. Erin go Bragh!