March 17th marks the annual celebration of the Feast of Saint Patrick, better known as St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday has a bunch of associated traditions, some more recent than others. The holiday was originally established as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, who is said to have brought Christianity to Ireland. So, it is often used as a celebration of Irish heritage and culture. These days, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all around the world, here are some examples of the yearly celebrations:
- Ireland: Ireland is of course a huge center of activity on St. Patrick’s Day. There are generally public parades and festivals as well as cèilidh – traditional Gaelic gatherings that involve lots of music and dancing. It is also tradition to wear green or shamrocks, and many attend church services. The association with shamrocks comes from the legend that Saint Patrick used a three-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity. He is often pictured with a cross in one hand and shamrocks in the other.
- United States: Saint Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated in the United States, originally because there is a large Irish population from late eighteenth century immigration. There are parades and festivals in many cities. Many wear green and the search for four-leaf clovers and leprechauns are common amongst children. One of the most famous displays is in Chicago, where the Chicago River is dyed green each year.
- Canada: Canada also traditionally has a large Irish population. Each year there is a huge parade in Montreal, whose city flag even has a shamrock on it. In Manitoba, there is an annual three-day festival of music and culture to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. There is also a parade in Toronto, that has been an annual celebration since 1863. The local professional hockey team was even once known as the Toronto St. Patricks.
Enjoy your St. Patrick Day! Don’t forget to check out SD Accelerate’s free trial!