As we head into the greenest time of year in the desert, it’s natural to wonder, how do the Irish actually celebrate? We looked a little deeper into the holiday, and here is what we discovered. The Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
While it may have started out as a religious parade, these days the US celebrations are similar to those in Ireland.
The first St Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland was held in 1903. Almost a decade later in 1996, came the first St Patrick’s Festival. In 1997, it soon became a three-day event and it just keeps growing. Since 2006, the festival has expanded to five days long, with nearly a million people in attendance each year. The festival includes concerts, outdoor theatre performances, and fireworks.
There are, of course, similarities with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the states and those in Ireland. While Ireland’s celebrations last several days longer, here in the U.S. most major cities channel their inner Irish and join in the festivities! From NYC, to Boston, Chicago and even Phoenix, there are unique festivals to be found.
In general, each festival features concerts, green beer, Irish beer, and, of course, traditional Irish faire. From cabbage and corned beef to shepherd’s pie, there is no shortage of delicious options to feast on … while wearing your greenest attire and beads, of course.
What is your favorite St. Patrick’s Day tradition?