Did you know St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other National Holiday in the world? We think Paddy’s Day is a wonderful celebration of Irish culture and its people, so to help add to the merriment, we found out the best classic St. Patrick’s Day traditions:
1. St. Patrick’s Day is a traditionally Christian holiday, but Lent restrictions are lifted, so everyone can eat, drink and be merry!
2. In Ireland, natives ‘drown the shamrock‘ or ‘wet the shamrock‘. At the end of the party, a shamrock is put into the bottom of a glass, which is then filled with whiskey, beer or cider and drank as a toast. The shamrock would either be swallowed with the drink, or be taken out and tossed over the shoulder for good luck!
3. Green ribbons and shamrocks have been worn on St. Patrick’s Day since at least the 1600’s. In the 1700’s there was a time when St. Patrick’s Day was blue, but it only lasted around 7 years, naturally.
4. The wearing of the ‘St Patrick’s Day Cross’ was also a popular tradition in Ireland until the early 1900’s. These were a Celtic Christian cross made of paper that was “covered with silk or ribbon of different colours, and a bunch or rosette of green silk in the centre”.
5. The Queen Mother used to present the Irish Guards with bowls of shamrock flown over from Ireland. The regiment in the British Army consists mostly of soldiers from the Emerald Isle and the Irish Guards still wear shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day!