St. Patrick’s Day, also known as “St. Patty’s Day,” is a day to celebrate the Irish by blood but also for everyone else to pretend to be Irish for the day.
According to National Today, March 17th is the most celebrated holiday around the world than any other single-day national festivals in America. However, the irony is that St. Patrick’s Day is not an official holiday in America.
The unofficial recognition of the holiday does not stop Americans from celebrating. So much so, National Today said the first parade in honor of St. Patrick’s Day was held in America in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts, not in Ireland.
The celebration of parades has become an annual tradition, when the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City. Before Covid, National Today said the event attracted more than two million spectators, “all claiming to be Irish, at least for the day.”
On a more serious note, the continuation of the annual parade was a result of more than one million Irish men, women and children immigrating through Ellis Island in the New York Harbor, seeking for purpose in America, according to National Today.
After facing oppression, discrimination, unemployment and poverty in New York City tenements, they found unity and strength within each other to advocate the celebration of their patron saint every year on March 17. The Irish have since spread their practices all throughout America as the immigrants continued south to find cheap farmland and jobs.
Aside from the fun and festive celebrations of Irish culture that St. Patrick’s Day brings, the day was initially a day to honor the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. According to National Today, the Catholic Church first recognized the holiday on March 17 in 1631. The day falls during Christian’s holy practice of Lent, the same time alcohol consumption was prohibited by the Church. When the day became a feast day to celebrate, the ban was lifted.
The idea of heavy drinking on St. Patrick’s Day in America was not firmly inspired by Irish tradition, but has since become an “American phenomenon,” according to National Today. With not much luck again this year to celebrate due to Covid, cities like Chicago are celebrating in unique ways by running the Chicago River green.
To celebrate at home, cook the ultimate Irish feast and pick up a classic or new Irish whiskey or beer. Irish recipes include soda bread, classic Irish stew, colcannon, beef and Guinness pies, corned beef and cabbage, Irish apple cake, potato leek soup and Irish coffee cake. To find 60 of the best recipe ideas from appetizers, sides, desserts and everything in between, visit goodhousekeeping.com.