17 March is celebrated as St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland on the occasion of the death anniversary of St. Patrick. It is one of the biggest public celebrations in the country and becomes the first public holiday of the New Year. St. Patrick is known as ‘The man who brought Christianity to Emerald Isle.’ Celebrated especially in American continents, each country brings out different types of celebrations with different traditional ways.
People celebrate this day following old Irish traditions as well as modern Irish ways. Belfast, the capital of Ireland celebrates this day around the city hall with a carnival parade, music, and dancing. People in Dublin follow 5-day celebrations that include a huge parade, a road race, and music performances. Though the oldest traditions are not followed these days, residents of Ireland respect the importance of these traditions.
Traditions and Importance
1. The Shamrock
The Shamrock or Irish Seamrog is a trefoil plant and is St. Patrick’s Day symbol. It symbolizes ‘the rebirth of spring’. These plants were worn by poor Irish people on Christmas celebration days. Three leaves of the Shamrock represent a holy trinity and mean ‘Faith, Hope and Love’. Three-leaf clovers or four-leaf clovers are used in the celebrations.
2. Traditional and Modern Irish Music
St. Patrick’s day is incomplete without Irish music concerts. The music represents the holy history of Ireland and people perform in the concerts to remind the residents about the culture, heritage, history, and important events. In traditional music, Whilst Caoineadh songs are played to represent pain and sorrow in Ireland’s history. Along with Sean nós, modern American music Jazz and Pop music is played. ‘Céilí’— a social gathering held in Ireland includes music and dancing events.
3. St. Patrick’s Day Parade
This parade is held to honor St. Patrick. It was first started in the city of New York in 1762. Dublin and Belfast also have big parades on this day. People march wearing traditional attire, especially green color outfits as it represents the color of the Irish rebellion. The largest parade was held in Chicago, the USA where 2 million spectators participated in the parade.
4. Modern Celebrations
Modern celebrations include sports and games as sports play an important role in Irish culture. Every year, on this day, all Ireland club championships in Hurling, camogie, and GAA football are arranged in Dublin.
5. Food, Drinks, and Green Color
To honor St. Patrick, Christian people celebrate by hosting feasts and parties. Irish food like corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread is famous among people. Along with good food, people are fond of drinking and thus, it is the fourth-biggest drinking day of the year. Chicago is famous for its ‘River-green’ ceremony which is held from morning to evening.
The world celebrates different festivals with different traditions around the world. Every celebration has its own culture, own traditions, own meaning, and different ways of celebration. St. Patrick’s Day is one such vibrant celebration in the world.