The History of our Favorite St. Patrick's Day Traditions

St. Patrick's Day is all about green, shamrocks, leprechauns and good luck. But have you ever wondered about the history behind all of these traditions? 

Here's what makes St. Patrick's Day what it is today! Some of these might surprise you...

The Color Green

Green has long been synonymous with Ireland's beautiful landscapes and rolling hills. However, its association with St. Patrick's Day can be traced back to the 18th century, when the color became linked with Irish nationalism. The wearing of green on St. Patrick's Day was a gesture of solidarity and pride. And, of course, St. Patrick's Day is all about green today! 


No St. Patrick's Day would be complete without the mischievous presence of leprechauns, the tiny tricksters of Irish mythology. These elusive creatures are said to inhabit the Irish countryside, guarding their pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. While their origins are rooted in ancient Celtic folklore, leprechauns have become synonymous with St. Patrick's Day, adding a whimsical touch to the festivities every year. 


The shamrock holds a special place in Irish culture, symbolizing both religious significance and good fortune. According to legend, St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. Over time, the shamrock became an enduring emblem of Ireland and a harbinger of luck. On St. Patrick's Day, it's customary to wear or display a shamrock as a nod to Ireland's heritage and a token of good fortune.

St. Patrick's Day Parades

St. Patrick's Day parades have evolved from solemn religious processions to exuberant displays of community celebration. The first recorded St. Patrick's Day parade took place in Boston in 1737, organized by Irish immigrants eager to showcase their heritage. Today, parades are held in cities around the world, featuring elaborate floats, marching bands, and dancers wearing green. And they're so much fun!

Corned Beef and Cabbage 

Corned beef and cabbage is a quintessential St. Patrick's Day dish, but its origins are more American than Irish. In Ireland, the traditional St. Patrick's Day meal is often lamb or bacon. However, Irish immigrants in America adapted to the availability of beef, leading to the popularization of corned beef and cabbage as a St. Patrick's Day staple. Despite its American roots, the dish has become synonymous with the holiday. Yum!

Irish Soda Bread 

Irish soda bread is another beloved culinary tradition associated with St. Patrick's Day. It has been a staple of the Irish diet for centuries, dating back to the 19th century when baking soda became widely available. Made with flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt, Irish soda bread is known for its dense texture and distinctive flavor. Will you be making some this year? 


What's your favorite St. Patrick's Day tradition? Let us know in the comments!


1 comment

  • Linda Steele

    Hope everyone had a great St. Patrick’s Day – I am of Irish descent and was glad to read about the traditions of the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day. Learned a few new things I didn’t know