Is St. Patrick’s Day celebrated in Ireland?

We all know that Saint Patrick’s Day, also known as the Feast of St. Patrick is held on March 17 every year. Here in the United States, it’s celebrated with festivities, parades and wearing green. But how much do you know about the origins of the celebration or St. Patrick himself? Is it celebrated in Ireland?

Here are a few interesting and fun tidbits.

  • Until the 1700s, St. Patrick’s Day was a religious day observed only in Ireland. The faithful spent the occasion in quiet prayer at church or at home – without the all of today’s partying. Things started to change when Irish immigrants coming to the United States began organizing parades and other events on March 17 as a show of pride for their heritage.
  • The “Day of the Festival of Patrick” is March 17 because it is widely thought that is the day he died.
  • St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other holiday.
  • According to legend, the day is associated with a 3 leaved shamrock because St Patrick used it as a symbol to explain the Holy Trinity.
  • In the United States, Saint Patrick’s Day is a legal holiday only in Suffolk County, Massachusetts and  Savannah, Georgia.
  • On St. Patrick’s Day, most of us in North America celebrate the day with corned beef and cabbage. But that’s not the classic dish in Ireland. There, a type of bacon similar to ham is served on the holiday table. Corned beef came about because in the late 19th century, Irish immigrants in New York City’s Lower East Side needed to save money so they bought corned beef from their Jewish neighbors.
  • Two astronauts on board the International Space Station found unique ways to celebrate the day. Irish-American Catherine Coleman played a hundred-year-old flute while floating in the space station on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2011 and Chris Hadfield took photographs of Ireland from earth’s orbit, along with a selfie wearing green in the space station. He posted them online on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2013.

In recent years however, St Patrick’s Day celebrations have been criticized, mostly for their association with public drunkenness and straying from their original purpose of honoring St Patrick and what he stood for.

Meanwhile, back in Ireland, the Irish have been catching up to their counterparts across the Atlantic when it comes to celebrating. Since the mid-1990s, Ireland has sponsored their own St. Patrick’s Day Festivals featuring parades and a variety of performances and activities – in part to promote tourism and boost the economy.

However you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, you are probably thinking of wearing green in some way, shape or form. Color Street released a new collection of nail polish strips for St. Patty’s Day that are sparkly and fun featuring rainbows, glitter, shamrocks and of course, green. Check out Color Street’s nail collection here.

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