Every wonder why we eat corned beef and cabbage and drink green beer on March 17th every year? The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
St Patrick lived during the 5th century and is the patron saint of Ireland. He was born in Great Britain and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Perhaps the most famous legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.
The first parade to honor St Patrick took place not in Ireland but in the United States. In 1762 Irish Soldiers serving in the English Military marched through New York City to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
So while you’re enjoying your St Patrick’s Day you now have a little history to go with it!