St. Patrick’s Day | March 17

St. Patrick's Day Facts



In celebration of Irish culture, people worldwide come together to mark St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.

St. Patrick’s Day, sometimes also known as the Feast of St. Patrick, is the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. It is one of many days and feasts named after Catholic saints over the years.

People have been observing this day since St. Patrick died in the fifth century. However, many of today’s St. Patrick’s Day traditions began centuries later. Parades, lucky charms, and Irish dancing have become well-known symbols of St. Patrick’s Day.

Carry on reading to learn more about why Ireland’s national holiday is celebrated worldwide!

History of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick and other religious figures on their way to Tara

Not much is known about St. Patrick himself, but clearly, he made quite an impact in Ireland. He was born into a British Roman family but was taken to Ireland as a slave.

He later escaped and is credited with bringing Christianity to the country after becoming a priest.

There is some disagreement over the year of St. Patrick’s death, but not over the date of March 17.

Some think that Ireland’s patron saint died in 493 AD at more than 100 years old, while most people believe he died in 461 AD at the age of 76.

The date was added to the Church calendar in 1631, and Christians in Ireland began observing it as a Feast Day. It was recognized by several churches, including the Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland.

Feast days in the Church are marked with prayers, readings, and special mentions of the patron saint being commemorated.

Fast forward to New York City in 1762, and the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was being hosted.

This phenomenal spectacle brought the Irish celebrations onto the streets of America, the home of many Irish immigrants.

Wearing green was outlawed in Ireland at the time, but the parade allowed participants to wear green and embrace Irish culture. It has since become one of New York’s greatest traditions, attracting thousands of people every year.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in countries all over the world – including Japan, Russia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Thailand.

It has become a global celebration for anyone who wants to enjoy Irish culture!

How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

4 friends wearing green clothing cheers a green drink in a bar

Drink green beer or Guinness.

Downing a pint of green beer or Guinness has become customary for many who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Green beer combines the Irish symbols of beer and the color green, while Guinness has long been the alcoholic emblem of Ireland.

Why not find one of these Irish drinks in a local bar this St. Patrick’s Day?

Listen to Irish music.

While under British rule, the law in Ireland stated that people could not listen to traditional Irish music.

People were also not allowed to own musical instruments and make music themselves. Musicians would get together secretly to play Irish music, so it’s no surprise why people indulge in this activity on St. Patrick’s Day!

Go to a parade.

If you go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York, you will be among those attending the largest parade of its kind.

Many other towns and cities around the world organize parades on March 17, giving you the perfect excuse to celebrate this annual Irish holiday wherever you are.

St. Patrick’s Day FAQ

A collection St. Patrick's Day accessories on a table

Why are leprechauns associated with St. Patrick’s Day?

Leprechauns are mythical figures often featured in Irish fables and are thought to bring good luck. As St. Patrick’s Day is a major Irish holiday, they have naturally become a symbol of the day.

Was St. Patrick British?

St. Patrick was born in Britain while it was part of the Roman Empire. When he escaped from slavery in Ireland, he fled back to Britain and studied to become a priest.

Do Irish people wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?

Green is a traditional Irish color, so people wear it on St. Patrick’s Day. But there is also a funny reason why many follow this tradition.

Legend has it that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns, so they won’t come and pinch you!

St. Patrick’s Day Statistics

St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular holiday in the United States largely because of the high number of residents with Irish ancestry.

According to 2019 research, as much as 20% of the population in some cities have Irish heritage.

It should not be surprising that billions of dollars are invested in this annual holiday – an average of $40 per celebrant!

An infographic with interesting statistics about St. Patrick's Day


If you have ever wondered why people wear green and drink beer on March 17, you’ll now understand more about this special holiday!

St. Patrick’s Day originated in Ireland but made its way to many corners of the world, giving people everywhere a taste of Irish culture and heritage.

About The Author

Lizzie Robinson
Lizzie Robinson

Lizzie Robinson has been a freelance writer since 2011. She studied English Literature at university and enjoys sailing & playing the piano in her free time. Lizzie enjoys writing about current issues & business.

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