St Patrick’s Day is perhaps one of the most well known of all the traditions in Ireland. Due to a history of mass migration out of the country the annual tradition has travelled far across the globe. Consequently it is now celebrated in a number of countries far from Ireland itself, including the United States of America.
The national holiday is celebrated on March the 17th each year. It is done in order to celebrate the life of St. Patrick who is the patron saint of the country. In particular the day is a time to celebrate the saint’s miracle of driving all the snakes from Ireland.
However, in recent decades the holiday has broadened to become a time of enjoying the entire heritage, traditions and history of Ireland. There are many ways of doing this. Festivals and parades take place in a number of cities. People are often seen wearing green in order to convey their love of Ireland.
The shamrock is an important symbol that can be seen during the holiday. The symbol is meant to represent the holy trinity in the Catholic Church. However, in recent years it has come to be known as a more general symbol for Irish culture as a whole.
Celtic music is played in many different countries and the music itself will usually include bagpipes and fiddles. Just like Burns Night in Scotland there is a traditional meal plan that celebrators eat on the day. For St. Patrick’s Day this consists of corned beef and cabbage. Originally Irish bacon was cooked instead. However, during the turn of the 20th century Irish immigrants living in the United States began to substitute pork for beef as a cheaper alternative. This has meant that corned beef is now the cultural norm for the feast on this day.