St. Patrick’s Day in the United States

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Learn the history of this holiday in the United States and the different ways people celebrate.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17. Though it’s not a legal holiday in the United States, it’s still widely recognized and celebrated throughout the country. It’s a combination of Irish and American culture. Most celebrations are focused on Irish themed parties, alcoholic drinks, and food. People dress in green and eat food dyed green too!  Large street parades are held to mark St Patrick’s Day in cities such as:

Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick's Day
Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day
    • Chicago
    • Boston
    • Houston
    • Philadelphia
    • Pittsburgh
    • Denver
    • Detroit
    • New York
    • New Orleans
    • Seattle

It is a tradition in Chicago to dye the Chicago River green, it started in 2005.

Schools, businesses and other organizations are open as usual during this holiday. Transportation should run normally as well.

History of Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick

Little is known about Patrick. He was born in Roman Britain into a wealthy family. At the age of 16 he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. He was able to escape back to Britain and decided to study to be a priest.

He said he was told by God to return to Ireland. He was called the principal champion of Irish Christianity.

Wearing Green

Originally, blue was associated with the holiday. But over the years, green became more associated. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn to celebrate as early as the 17th century. It is said Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.

Celebrating in Ireland

Saint Patrick’s Day became an official holiday in Ireland in 1903. The first parade was held in Dublin in 1931. In the mid-1990s the government of the Republic of Ireland started to use the holiday to showcase the country and its culture. They set up the St. Patrick’s Festival to educate the world about Ireland and to celebrate. The first festival was in 1996. From there it grew to a five-day celebration each year.

Popular St. Patrick’s Day Drinks

international student voice green beer


Green beer is one of the most popular drinks on this holiday. It’s very simple to make. Take your favorite beer and put in a drop of green food coloring.







Another popular drink which you can purchase at most any bar or store is Guinness.












international student voice magazine 220px-Irish_Car_Bomb

The Irish Car Bomb is an American beer cocktail. It’s made with Irish stout (beer), Irish cream, and Irish whiskey. The whiskey floats on top of the Irish cream in a shot glass. Then the shot glass is dropped into the stout. You must drink it quickly or it will curdle.









international student voice magazine New_Jameson_Bottle

Speaking of whiskey, Jameson is the most popular Irish whiskey and it’s usually used to make the Irish Car Bomb.











If you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, please do so responsibly!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the International Student Voice Magazine team!

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