St. Patrick's Day in the USA

14 March 2017
door Regina Coeli

On March 17, every March 17, a very strange thing happens in the United States.  Everything goes green-  not environmental “green” but literally green.  Shop windows and some houses are decorated in green streamers.  School children wear green clothing and they pinch those who forget to wear the appropriate color.  Bars and restaurants serve green beer, green milkshakes and green bread. Cities all over the country hold large parades and all the spectators and participants cover themselves in green. The city of Chicago even dyes its river green! What group hysteria takes hold of the whole country for this one single day?  Why, St. Patrick’s Day of course! 

Irish culture in the US

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is known for driving the snakes away from the Emerald Isle.  Countless numbers of Irish people immigrated to America in the 1800s and 1900s. When they came to the States they brought their religion and culture with them.  Celebrations on St. Patrick’s Day were once subdued and religious in nature, but throughout the years, more and more people started getting in on the party.  These days it’s a day celebrated by almost every single American whether or not they have any Irish ancestry. 

Kiss me, I'm Irish

It doesn’t matter where you look on March 17, you can’t avoid seeing the traditional symbols of Ireland:  shamrocks, leprechauns and their pots of gold, and St. Patrick himself. It’s even possible to see someone wearing a shirt that says “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” on it, no matter where they’re really from. 

St. Patrick’s Day is also a day to enjoy traditional foods that the Irish brought to America with them.  Many people celebrate they day by enjoying Irish soda bread or tucking into a large plate of corned beef and cabbage or some prefer corned beef hash.  Of course, it all has to be washed down by a pint of green beer or two. 

If you’re ever in America on March 17, grab some green clothing and join in on the celebration because on that day, you’re Irish, too!

 

 

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