History of St. Patrick’s Day

Like many modern celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day has its roots as a religious holiday. Celebrated every year on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Although originally a Catholic holiday, the day commemorates the spread of Christianity in general to Ireland. Patrick spent more than 20 years traveling through Ireland and established a national clergy, monasteries, schools and churches. He died on March 17, A.D. 461, and the holiday has evolved quite a bit since then.

St. Patrick’s Day Traditions

Today, nearly everyone celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. Even if you aren’t Irish, it’s still a great excuse to partake in the festivities often associated with the modern holiday. These traditions include watching parades, listening to bagpipers and Irish step dancers, attending mass, wearing green and shamrock-adorned clothing and perhaps even indulging in a green beer or Irish whiskey. Leprechauns and snakes are often associated with the holiday as well. Celtic folklore is where the leprechaun association came from, and snakes are because legend has it that St. Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland during his time there.

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Besides enjoying authentic Irish music and wearing green, food for your party is needed to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day properly. Although corned beef and cabbage is the most common dish associated with the holiday, corned beef actually isn’t Irish! In Ireland, people ate Irish bacon, but when they came over to America, they were introduced to corned beef by their Jewish neighbors in New York’s Lower East Side. If you aren’t into corned beef and cabbage or simply want to try something different, here are a few ideas to check out:

Colcannon—enjoy a traditional Irish potato and vegetable dish with family and friends.

Green Pancakes—go ahead and make this a full-on brinner with some bacon and eggs as well!

Lucky Leprechaun Dip—indulge guilt-free in this one, especially if you pair it with some freshly cut veggies!

For delicious appetizer and snacks throughout the day, why not serve a tasty meat and cheese platter from one of our many Hickory Farms gift baskets? You can’t go wrong with the savory flavors. Try putting out nut samplers as well for your guests to snack on. Everyone loves something salty to pair with their favorite Irish ale or whiskey! Whether your celebration is traditional or all your own, the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day is all about gathering together with friends and family to make unforgettable memories.