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St. Patrick's Day

The Irish immigrants brought the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day to the United States in the early 1800’s. It is the day they honor their beloved patron saint, St. Patrick, for his amazing contributions to the people of Ireland. Irish Bagpiper

Today, people of different cultures, religions and many nations join in the festivities on March 17. There is a saying that “Everyone is Irish” on Saint Patrick’s Day! On this day you might catch a parade marching down the street, the sound of bagpipes filling the air, sit down to a dinner of corned beef and cabbage or notice that everyone is wearing green!

Shamrocks are an important symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. It is said that Patrick used the “little clover” to explain the Trinity to the Irish. The tradition of pinning a shamrock to one’s clothing began in 1681 and is carried on today in Ireland and all over the world. Another popular symbol attached to St. Patrick’s Day is the leprechaun. Dressed in green, he is a wee little man in Irish folklore that hides his gold in pots at the end of a rainbow. Also on this day, parade marchers might carry shillelaghs as the walk along to the rhythm of the Irish music.

So find something green to wear, slice a piece of Irish soda bread, enjoy a bowl of Irish stew, make some green Jell-O and gather with friends to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day! Remember, you don’t need to be Irish!

Did you know?

  • Dancing LeprechaunPatrick was not Irish nor was his name Patrick. It was Maewyn Succat.
  • St. Patrick died on March 17, 461.
  • Since so many soldiers were Irish, General Washington gave his troops St. Patrick’s Day off.
  • The Declaration of Independence was signed by more men from Ireland than any other country.
  • Blue was the first color to be associated with St. Patrick, not green.
  • The St. Patrick’s Day custom came to America in the 1700s.
  • In 1737, the first official Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in the U.S. was held in Boston, Massachusetts. 
  • New York City has held a parade on St. Patrick’s Day since 1762. It is one of the largest in the U.S.
  • Eating corned beef and cabbage is an American tradition.
  • You better wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or people can pinch you!


Check These Out!

Lucky O'Leprechaun
Dillon, Jana
On St. Patrick's Day eve, Meghan and Sean get help from their three grandaunties and manage to capture a sly leprechaun.
Green Shamrocks
Bunting, Eve
When the pot of green shamrocks that Rabbit has been growing for St. Patrick's Day goes missing, he asks all the other animals if they have seen it.
St. Patrick's Day
Gillis, Jennifer Blizin
Paddy's Pot of Gold
King-Smith, Dick
Brigid enjoys making friends with Paddy the leprechaun and wonders if he has a pot of gold.
The Night before St. Patrick's Day
Wing, Natasha
In this poem based on "The Night Before Christmas," Tim and Maureen go to great lengths to set a trap, hoping to catch a real leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day and take his pot of gold.
Look Out, Jeremy Bean!
Schertle, Alice
A school assignment to share collections prompts Jeremy Bean to become a collector of stories about himself, which he hopes he can share with his grandchildren as his Gramps has shared stories with him. This engaging transitional work is organized into three "books" that explore Jeremy's efforts to become a collector, his search for dust bunnies and his solution to the problem of a St. Patrick's Day costume.

CDs & DVDs

St. Patrick's Day
Features many popular traditions that celebrate St. Patrick in Ireland, the United States and Canada. A brief historical biography of St. Patrick is provided as well as an overview of Irish immigration to North America.

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