Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Paddy's Day

St Patrick's Day, on March 17, remembers one of Ireland’s patron saints, St Patrick. It largely celebrates Irish-American culture in the United States.
Leprechaun gold
Stories like the Leprechaun's pot of gold are shared on St Patrick's Day.
©iStockphoto.com/SharapaAndriy

Celebrate St Patrick's Day

Celebrations concentrate on Irish themed parties, drinks and food. Many people get into the spirit by dressing in green clothing and eating green colored food. Irish clubs and pubs often hold parties or have special deals. Large street parades mark St Patrick's Day.
Water is dyed green in public places in some towns. The most notable body of water that was dyed green was the Chicago River in 2005.

What's Open or Closed?

St Patrick's Day is not a federal holiday in the United States. Schools, businesses and organizations are open as usual. Public transport systems run on their regular schedules. There may be some local disruption to traffic due to St Patrick's Day parades. This is particularly true in cities with a large Irish-American population, including New York, New Orleans and Seattle. The parades may be on or around March 17, so it is a good idea to check local sources for the exact location, date and time.

About St Patrick's Day

St Patrick is one of Ireland's patron saints and many Americans with Irish ancestry remember him on March 17. Patrick's Day is fixed on March 17, but may occasionally be moved by Catholic Church authorities. This happened in 1940, so that the celebrations would not fall on Palm Sunday, and in 2008 to avoid Holy Monday, the last Monday before Easter Sunday.

Symbols

The most common St Patrick's Day symbol is the shamrock. The shamrock is the leaf of the clover plant and a symbol of the Holy Trinity. Other symbols include:
  • Almost anything green.
  • The green, orange and white flag of the Republic of Ireland.
  • Brands of beer associated with Irish culture.
Religious symbols include snakes and serpents. Other symbols seen on St Patrick’s Day include the harp, which was used in Ireland for centuries, as well as the leprechaun and a pot of gold that it hides.

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