Saint Patrick's Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration taking place on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385-461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.
History of Saint Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick's Day became the official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church.
The day commemorates Patrick and therefore the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of Irish generally. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilís, and therefore the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations also attend church services and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.
Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday within the Republic of Eire, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (for provincial government employees), and therefore the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It's also widely celebrated within the UK, Canada, the US, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, especially amongst Irish diaspora. Saint Patrick's Day is widely known in additional countries than the other national festival. Modern celebrations are greatly influenced by those of Irish diaspora, particularly people who developed in North America. However, there has been criticism of Saint Patrick's Day celebrations for having become too mainstream and for fostering negative stereotypes of Irish people.
Saint Patrick’s Day interesting facts
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
- Traditional Saint Patrick's Day foods are corned beef and cabbage. In 2009 they produced nearly 26.1 billion pounds of beef and 2.3 billion pounds of cabbage in the US.
- People called it Irish soda bread because it is made from baking soda but not yeast as a leavening agent.
- Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
- Over 100 Saint Patrick's Day parades are taken place across the US. New York City and Boston are where they held the largest celebrations.
- Every year at the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade, people parade up 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street. There are often 150,000 to 250,000 marchers joining in the parade, which automobiles or floats are forbidden.
Places to Spend St. Patrick’s Day
- In the United States, they named seven places after the shamrock - the floral emblem of Ireland including Mount Gay-Shamrock, West Virginia; Shamrock, Texas; Shamrock Lakes, Indiana; and Shamrock, Oklahoma.
- There are sixteen US places share the name of Ireland's capital, Dublin. Dublin, California is the largest of the nice with 44,541 residents and the second is Dublin, Ohio with 39,310 residents.
- Other towns with the luck of the Irish are Emerald Isle, North Carolina, and Irishtown, Illinois.
Facts about Irish Americans
- There are 32.3 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry, according to a 2016 census. This number is about seven times the population of Ireland itself.
- Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, ranking behind German.
- Across the country, 10.2 percent of residents lay claim to Irish ancestry. That number more than doubles to 20.2 percent in the state of Massachusetts.
- Irish is the most common ancestry in 54 U.S. counties, of which 44 are in the Northeast. Middlesex County in Massachusetts tops the list with 348,978 Irish Americans, followed by Norfolk County, Massachusetts, which has 203,285.
- Irish is one of the top five ancestries in every state except Hawaii and New Mexico. It is the leading ancestry group in Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
- In 2016 there were approximately 125,840 U.S. residents who were born in Ireland.
How to cook Saint Patrick’s Day dishes
Irish Soda Bread with Raisins
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Make well in the center of the flour mixture. Add buttermilk. Gradually stir dry ingredients into milk to blend. Mix in raisins.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Place the corned beef in water to cover with the peppercorns or mixed pickling spices (in supermarkets, these often come packaged with the corned beef). Cover the pot or kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 hours or until tender, skimming occasionally. During the last hour, add the carrots and onions and cover again. During the last 15 minutes, add the cabbage. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter and brush the vegetables with the melted butter. Serve with boiled parsley potatoes, cooked separately. (The stock can be saved to add to a pot roast or stew instead of other liquid.)
How to save money on Saint Patrick’s Day
Looking for deals instead of paying full price
Think about free ways to entertain
Instead of throwing a big party, you can celebrate this day by watching a parade for free. Visiting some pubs or restaurants can be a good idea too.
Look for beer rebates
If you plan to celebrate this day with a beverage, look for rebates on alcohol. Moreover, mail-in rebates can really lower the cost, sometimes you can even get paid to purchase the product.
Shopping online for Saint Patrick’s Day
Normally on this day, people tend to go to the shopping malls, stores, supermarkets to shop. But that way you will spend a lot of money and it’s hard for people on a tight budget to purchase everything you need. Shopping online is a great solution because you can stay home and search for coupon codes and deals from big retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and so on.
Sign up in advance for your event
You should purchase tickets or admission to any event you want to join in advance - maybe a day or two to save you money on the entrance fee. Especially for the 5K races which are a popular St. Patrick's Day tradition. You may even save yourself 50% of the charges if you purchase your spot early.
Don’t overspend on the green stuff
Before going shopping for green clothing, take a look at your closet to see what you already have instead. If you do not have any green stuff, maybe a Notre Dame Fighting Irish or Celtics jersey will work.
Shopping at last minute
You can save a huge amount of money if you shop at the last minute for party supplies. Since retailers know it's hard to sell their products after the holiday like St. Patrick's Day so you may get what you want at a low cost. I highly recommend you to buy supplies on the afternoon of March 17 before your evening party.
Take advantage of this holiday to purchase other things
According to my experience, retail sales apply to non-holiday items too. Thus, besides buying decorations and candy, you can also use the festive markdowns as a chance to purchase other things you may need such as clothing, bedding products, and spring cleaning items. You can check out some great stores including JCPenney, THX Silk, Beddinginn.com that have many hot deals right now.