Saint Patrick's Day - History, Traditions, & Facts

saint patricks day

Saint Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on March 17th each year. It is named after Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who lived in the 5th century and is credited with bringing Christianity to the country.


Saint Patrick was born in Britain, but at the age of 16, he was captured by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave. After six years of captivity, he escaped and became a monk, later returning to Ireland as a missionary. It is said that he used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people, and he is also credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland, although there is no evidence that snakes ever existed on the island.

The first recorded Saint Patrick's Day parade was held in New York City in 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British army. The holiday was later adopted by Irish immigrants in the United States as a way to celebrate their heritage and culture.


Wearing green: It is traditional to wear green on Saint Patrick's Day, which is said to represent the green of the Irish landscape.

Parades: Parades are a popular feature of Saint Patrick's Day, particularly in the United States. The largest parade is held in New York City, with over 2 million spectators.

Irish food and drink: Traditional Irish food and drink, such as corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and Guinness beer, are commonly consumed on Saint Patrick's Day.

Symbols: The shamrock, a three-leafed plant, is a symbol of Ireland and is often associated with Saint Patrick's Day. The leprechaun, a mischievous fairy in Irish folklore, is also a common symbol.


  • Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in Ireland, but it is not a national holiday in the United States.
  • The Chicago River is dyed green for Saint Patrick's Day, a tradition that began in 1962.
  • Saint Patrick's Day is the fourth most popular drinking day in the United States, after New Year's Eve, Christmas, and the Fourth of July.

Overall, Saint Patrick's Day is a celebration of Irish culture and heritage, and it is an opportunity for people of Irish descent to celebrate their roots and share their traditions with others.