Become Irish: St. Patrick’s Day History And Customs

Leprechaun
Leprechaun
The leprechaun comes from the Celtic belief in fairies and tiny men. In Celtic folktales, they are known for their trickery to protect their treasure. In 1959, Walt Disney released a film that created an American cheerful and friendly image of the leprechaun which is now associated with St. Partick’s Day. (Credit: AP)
Shamrocks and Four-Leaf Clovers
Shamrocks and Four-Leaf Clovers
St. Patrick choose a shamrock or a three leaved clover to symbolize the church’s Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. A four-leaf clover is not a shamrock, but because it is rare to find it symbolizes good luck. (Credit: Paul McErlane/Getty Images)
Wearing Green
Wearing Green
Over the years, it has become a custom to wear green on March 17. However, this is mostly a U.S. custom because green is considered unlucky in Ireland. The color green is connected with the old green flag – a time when Ireland was not free. (Credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
Chicago River Dyed Green
Chicago River Dyed Green
Since 1962, Chicago has dyed its river green. It started out as a way for sewer workers to check for sewer discharges. It has now become a custom to dye the river green on St. Patrick’s Day. Other cities and states have picked up on the tradition. (Credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)
St. Patrick
St. Patrick
This is a painting of St. Patrick. He worked hard at spreading the word of God and built several churches throughout Ireland. His goal was to have a complete triumph over Paganism. On March 17, 493, he died, and it has now become his feast day. (Credit: Getty Images)
Celtic Music
Celtic Music
Music is highly associated with St. Patrick’s Day and the Irish culture. The Celts had an oral culture that passed down traditions through stories and songs. Irish style music is made with the fiddle, uilleann pipes, tin whistles, and a bodran. (Credit: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)
Claddaugh Ring
Claddaugh Ring
Since the 17th Century, the Claddaugh Ring is a traditional wedding ring for the Irish. The heart symbolizes love. The hands are for friendship. The crown is worn for loyalty. (Credit: AP)
Corned Beef
Corned Beef
Corned Beef and CabbageRestaurants serve a lot of corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, but it is only half Irish. Cabbage is a staple in the Irish diet, and it is normally served with Irish bacon. Corned beef became a substitute for Irish immigrants in America who could not afford the bacon. (Credit: AP)
Green-Beer
Green-Beer
Green BeerAmericans have created their own St. Patrick’s Day tradition – drinking large amounts of Irish or green beer. A popular choice to drink is Guinness. (Credit: AP)
St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, even our decked out mini-schnauzers, Schnickelfritz and Schatz. Owned by their Irish parents, Stephany and Patrick Barrett of Easton, Md. (Credit: Stephany Barrett)
Green Dogs
Green Dogs
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, even our decked out mini-schnauzers, Schnickelfritz and Schatz. Owned by their Irish parents, Stephany and Patrick Barrett of Easton, Md. (Credit: Stephany Barrett)
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