Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

A little Irish history & food for all to enjoy

My grandfather came from Ireland, so of course I am one of the Irish-American citizens who likes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Although my grandfather passed away prior to my birth, I know I would have questioned him on what it was like to celebrate this day in Ireland. What is different from the celebrations here and there? Since I have an innate curiosity, I researched the topic and wanted to share my findings with you, as well as a few recipes.

Around the 18th century Ireland began celebrating one particularly important person in their history, Saint Patrick. The celebrations were not glamorous or exciting – there was no dying beer or rivers green; it simply was a small, religious holiday.

Ironically, St. Patrick was not from Ireland; he was British and led a very difficult life. Patrick was kidnapped, sold into slavery, and brought to Ireland against his will. History indicated St. Patrick escaped this terrible fate and made it back to his homeland, only to return to Ireland – this time as a missionary. He believed God called on him to serve the people there. Saint Patrick died on March 17, and after his death he was named the patron saint of Ireland. This led to the first celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day.

In the 19th century more Irish immigrants came into the U.S, which increased the number of celebrations around the country. Towards the end of the 20th century, many non-Irish individuals began to join in the fun, making it a jovial day; no matter your heritage. Traditions such as green beer, leprechauns, green rivers, and of course food are welcomed by just about everyone, and may have attributed to the surge of participants (even those who are not Irish) in this annual jubilee. Even school teachers have been known to engage in the day and “experience” mischievous pranks caused by leprechauns inside their classrooms. Some families have endured leprechaun pranks as well: green toilet water, green dust, unexplained messes, and other such instances.

Whether or not you are Irish, this St. Patrick’s Day enjoy the day – at home or out on the town. Our area offers several places with an Irish flair; perfect for you to try. If you celebrate at home, keep an eye out for the recipes on our blog…potato scones, and a recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage from Molly’s Irish Pub. Remember to stay safe and have fun.

Debbie Eisele
About Debbie Eisele 57 Articles
Debbie Eisele is an editor and writer for Piedmont Lifestyle Publications. She is also a certified horticulturalist, an education advocate, and president of the board of directors for Allegro School of the Arts. She lives in Warrenton with her husband and twin daughters. In her free time, she enjoys a cup of coffee and being outdoors.

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