Publication date March 5, 2024

Make the Most of St. Patrick's Day Holiday This Year

St. Patrick's Day Holiday

You can't let St. Patrick's Day pass without getting in on some of the festive fun. This year, don't just settle for green beer at the local pub. It's time to really celebrate this joyful holiday in style. From parades and festivals to Irish music and dancing, we've got some great ways for you to make the most of St. Patrick's Day no matter where you are. Get ready for a celebration filled with shamrocks, shenanigans, and all things Irish. This guide will give you lots of fun ideas to turn March 17 into an unforgettable day.

History and Origins of St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day originated as a celebration of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick was a 5th century Christian missionary who spread Christianity throughout Ireland. According to legend, Saint Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Christian holy trinity.

Saint Patrick's Day Traditions

Over the centuries, St. Patrick's Day evolved into a celebration of Irish heritage. Many of the traditions we now associate with St. Patrick's Day stem from the early 20th century. People wear green attire and shamrocks, attend parades, and drink green beer. Cities dye rivers green, including the Chicago River.

The largest St. Patrick's Day parade takes place in Dublin, Ireland. Major parades also happen in U.S. cities like New York, Boston, and Savannah. These celebrations showcase traditional Irish dance, music, and costumes.

St. Patrick's Day in Modern Times

Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of all nationalities. It's a day to embrace Irish culture, history and all things emerald green. Parties, festivals, and community events aim to bring people together to commemorate Ireland's patron saint.

While some criticize St. Patrick's Day for promoting excess drinking and stereotyping, others view it as a fun cultural celebration that fosters inclusiveness. At its heart, St. Patrick's Day is a time to spread joy and build community.

So this St. Patrick's Day, don your greenest garb, hoist a pint of Guinness, and immerse yourself in all the merrymaking. Sláinte!

St. Patrick's Day Traditions and Symbols



Source: CNN

No St. Patrick's Day is complete without a parade! Cities big and small host parades featuring everything from traditional Irish dancers to local marching bands. Some of the largest parades happen in New York City, Chicago, and Boston. Find a spot along the parade route, wear your best shamrocks and green attire, and cheer on the procession of floats, performers and more.


According to legend, St. Patrick used the three leaves of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. Today, the shamrock is a popular St. Patrick's Day symbol. Many people wear shamrock accessories like pins, hats, socks, and temporary tattoos to celebrate.

Pots of Gold

At the end of the rainbow, there's a pot of gold! This St. Patrick's Day legend has endured for ages. Pots of gold are commonly used in decorations, crafts, and other holiday imagery. Kids will love making their own pots of gold using containers like plant pots or baskets and filling them with gold coins, candy, small toys or other treats.


The mischievous leprechaun is an iconic part of St. Patrick's Day folklore. Leprechauns are typically depicted as tiny men with red hair and beards, dressed in green outfits with buckled hats. Legend says that leprechauns guard treasure and gold, but if you catch one, he'll grant you three wishes! Leprechauns make a fun decoration or costume for the holiday.

With traditions like parades, symbols such as shamrocks and pots of gold, and whimsical leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day is filled with festive fun for all ages. However you choose to celebrate, have a happy St. Paddy's Day!

Places to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the U.S.

New York City, New York

New York City hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the U.S. The parade down 5th Avenue is a spectacle, with over 150,000 marchers and 2 million spectators. Head to an Irish pub in Midtown before the parade to get in the spirit. McSorley’s Old Ale House, open since 1854, is a historic spot for a pint of Guinness.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago dyes its river green for St. Patrick’s Day, a tradition since 1962. The parade also travels down Columbus Drive along the river. Check out the Irish American Heritage Center, which hosts cultural events and Irish dance performances around the holiday. Or stop by The Galway Arms, a classic Irish pub known for live traditional music.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston has a huge Irish American population and one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day festivals in the U.S. The parade travels through South Boston, or “Southie.” Before the parade, grab brunch at The Purple Shamrock, an iconic dive bar open since the 1960s. Or head to the Black Rose for live music, shepherd’s pie, and a perfectly poured Guinness.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been held annually since 1852. It travels down Market Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares. Check out historic Irish bars like the Buena Vista Cafe, open since 1916, for an Irish coffee or a pint. Or head to Napper Tandy’s for fish and chips and live traditional Irish music.

Savannah, Georgia

Who knew Savannah, Georgia, had such a big St. Patrick’s Day celebration? Savannah’s parade is one of the largest in the South. Historic River Street is filled with revelry all day. Stop by Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub for shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, or a proper pint of Guinness. Or check out Fiddler’s Crab House, known for live Irish music and dancing, in addition to fresh seafood.

Fun Activities for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day isn't just about wearing green and drinking Guinness. There are so many fun ways to celebrate this fun-loving holiday. Here are a few activities to make the most of your St. Paddy's Day.

Have a Movie Marathon

Curl up on the couch with some corned beef and cabbage and watch a few classic St. Patrick's Day movies. Some recommendations would be Darby O'Gill and the Little People, The Quiet Man starring John Wayne, or Waking Ned Devine. If you prefer something more modern, check out Leap Year starring Amy Adams or PS I Love You with Hilary Swank.

Cook Up an Irish Feast

What's St. Patrick's Day without some traditional Irish fare? In addition to corned beef and cabbage, cook some shepherd's pie, Irish soda bread, colcannon (mashed potatoes with kale), or Irish stew. And don't forget dessert—some Baileys cheesecake, Irish cream brownies or shamrock shakes would be perfect. Invite your friends over and make a night of it!

Do an Irish Pub Crawl

Do an Irish Pub Crawl

For a fun night out, gather some friends and do an Irish pub crawl. Visit some local Irish bars, listen to live traditional Irish music, sample Irish beers like Guinness, Harp and Smithwick's. Some pubs may even have Irish dancers or bagpipers on St. Patrick's Day. Just be sure to drink responsibly by pacing yourself, drinking water in between beers and arranging for transportation.

Attend or Participate in a Parade

Many cities and towns host St. Patrick's Day parades and festivals. Check to see if there are any events near you and head out to show your Irish spirit. Some parades feature bagpipe bands, Irish dancers and lots of green attire. If you're feeling extra celebratory, sign up to participate in the parade. Some parades welcome anyone who wants to march, so gather some friends, make some signs and show off your St. Paddy's Day enthusiasm.

St. Patrick's Day only comes once a year, so take advantage of all the fun ways to celebrate Irish culture. However you choose to observe the day, have a happy St. Patrick's Day and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

St. Patrick's Day Recipes and Cocktails

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Source: Food and wine

No St. Patrick’s Day is complete without corned beef and cabbage. This traditional Irish dish of brisket, potatoes, carrots and cabbage is hearty, flavorful and perfect for a celebration. Place 3-4 pounds of corned beef brisket in a large pot and cover with water. Add halved potatoes, carrots and cabbage and simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until the meat is tender. The veggies will soak up the flavorful broth—it’s delicious!

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Source: Food and wine

Homemade Irish soda bread is a must. This quick bread gets its rise from baking soda instead of yeast. Mix 4 cups flour, 1 tbsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt. Cut in 1/3 cup butter then stir in 1 1/4 cups buttermilk. Knead briefly then place on a greased baking sheet. Cut an X shape into the top and bake at 425 F for 30 minutes. Brush the top with melted butter as soon as you remove it from the oven.

Guinness Beef Stew

For something hearty yet boozy, make Guinness beef stew. Brown 1-2 lbs beef chuck cubes in oil, then transfer to a Dutch oven. Add diced onions, carrots and potatoes and sauté until softened. Add 2 cups Guinness, 2 cups broth and herbs like rosemary and thyme. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the beef is falling apart. The Guinness gives it a robust, malty flavor.

Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee

Source: The Spruce eats

Top off your St. Patrick’s Day meal with a hot cup of Irish coffee. Brew a pot of strong coffee and let it cool slightly. Add a shot of Irish whiskey to each mug of coffee. Top with a spoonful of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon. The contrast of the hot coffee and cold cream is delicious—no wonder this cocktail has endured for decades! Sláinte!

Whether you make corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie or colcannon, baking some Irish soda bread or topping it off with a Irish coffee, there are so many ways to make the most of St. Patrick’s Day at home this year. Get cooking and celebrate safely!

St. Patrick's Day Crafts and Decorating Ideas

DIY Shamrocks

What’s St. Patrick’s Day without shamrocks? Make your own shamrocks to decorate using green felt or craft paper. Cut out three leaf shapes and attach them to create the shamrock shape. You can glue the shamrocks onto clothes, bags, headbands or anything else you want to decorate. Kids will have fun helping with this easy craft.

Rainbows and Pots of Gold

St. Patrick’s Day decor isn’t complete without rainbows and pots of gold. Have kids make their own rainbows by gluing colored bands of paper into an arch. Decorate pots or containers with gold spray paint or wrapping paper to make little pots of gold. Fill the pots with chocolates, stickers, tiny toys or anything else to make St. Patrick’s Day treats.

Green Food and Drinks

Part of the fun of St. Patrick’s Day is all the green food and drinks. Make green rice krispie treats, cupcakes with green frosting, green Jell-O or green fruit punch. For older kids and adults, whip up a batch of green beer, green cocktails or Irish cream. If green food isn’t appealing, simply add a few drops of green food coloring to milk, lemonade or any other light-colored drink.

With some easy crafts and a bit of green food coloring, you'll be well on your way to decorating for St. Patrick's Day and getting into the holiday spirit. Keep things fun and festive without going overboard. Simple touches like shamrocks, rainbows, pots of gold and green treats are all you need to make the most of this fun March holiday.

St. Patrick's Day Parades and Events

One of the best ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to attend one of the many parades and events held in cities across the country. Major cities like New York City, Chicago, and Boston are known for their grand St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade

New York City hosts the oldest and largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world. Over 150,000 participants march up 5th Avenue in Manhattan, with nearly 2 million spectators lining the streets. The parade features Irish dance groups, pipe bands, marching bands, and floats. ###

Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade

Chicago dyes the Chicago River green for the occasion! The city kicks off the St. Patrick’s Day festivities with the dyeing of the river the Saturday before the parade. The parade features traditional Irish dancers, bagpipers, and of course, lots of green attire. Over 300,000 spectators attend the parade each year.###

Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade

Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade is a celebration of the city's strong Irish heritage. Over 600,000 people attend to watch the parade of Irish dancers, marching bands, and floats go by. The parade route goes by some of Boston's most historic sites like the Old State House and Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

In addition to the parades, many cities also host Irish festivals with live music, food, drinks, and activities. Some other fun ways to celebrate include:

-Listening to traditional Irish music at a pub

-Trying classic Irish foods like corned beef, cabbage, shepherd's pie or a Guinness

-Learning some Irish step dancing moves

-Dressing head to toe in green, including shamrocks and leprechaun hats!

St. Patrick’s Day only comes once a year, so make the most of the holiday by attending one of the many parades and events in cities across the U.S. Sláinte! (Cheers!)

Outfits and Costumes for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is the perfect excuse to dress up in fun costumes and show your Irish spirit. When selecting an outfit for the festivities, think green, gold, clovers and maybe a pot of gold. Here are some classic St. Paddy's Day costume ideas to get you started:

A simple way to join in the fun is by wearing green clothing from head to toe. Don a green top, pants, socks, shoes, jewelry, makeup, nail polish - you name it. You'll blend right in with the festive atmosphere. For extra spirit, add shamrocks, a leprechaun hat or a "Kiss Me I'm Irish" t-shirt.

Channel your inner leprechaun with a green suit, vest, bowler hat and bushy red beard. Don't forget the gold buckle shoes and a pot of gold. Carry a shillelagh walking stick for good measure. Ladies can wear a green dress, apron and red curly wig with freckles painted on for a fun feminine leprechaun look.

Show your Irish pride with the country's national symbols like the shamrock, Celtic cross or tricolor flag. Wear a shamrock-printed t-shirt or dress, or pin shamrocks on your green outfit. Paint a tricolor flag on your face or wear it as a sash or cape. A Celtic cross necklace or brooch also makes a meaningful accessory.

For a classic Irish stereotype, dress as a pint of Guinness. A black outfit with a harp logo, foamy white collar and Guinness label completes the look. Or wear all denim, a flat cap and pipe for a farmer getup. Ladies can don an Irish step dancing dress, curly red wig and dance shoes.

Whether you opt for a subtle nod or dramatic costume, St. Patrick's Day is meant for revelry and fun. Don't be afraid to get into the spirit of the holiday! Sláinte and have a joyous St. Paddy's Day.

St. Patrick's Day Holiday FAQs

Wondering what St. Patrick's Day is all about or how to properly celebrate? We've got you covered with some frequently asked questions about this fun Irish holiday.

What is St. Patrick's Day?

St. Patrick's Day commemorates Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who brought Christianity to the country in the 5th century. It started as a religious feast day but has since become a celebration of Irish culture. People around the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day on March 17th by wearing green, attending parades, and drinking Guinness beer.

Why do we wear green?

Green is the color of spring and Ireland, and wearing green has been a St. Patrick's Day tradition for centuries. According to legend, Saint Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. If you don't wear green on St. Patrick's Day, you risk getting pinched! So break out your green shirts, socks, jewelry and anything else green you can find.

What's with all the shamrocks and leprechauns?

Shamrocks, leprechauns and pots of gold are popular St. Patrick's Day symbols representing Irish folklore and culture. Leprechauns are mischievous fairies in Irish mythology. A shamrock is the three-leaf clover Saint Patrick used in his teachings. And a pot of gold refers to the legend that leprechauns keep gold stashed at the end of a rainbow.

How should I celebrate?

There are many ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! Head to an Irish pub, attend a parade, listen to Celtic music, watch a movie like Darby O'Gill and the Little People, or cook some traditional Irish food like shepherd's pie, colcannon, boxty, or Irish soda bread. However you choose to celebrate, make sure to wear green, spread good cheer and embrace the Irish spirit! Sláinte - To your health!


So there you have it! With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can have an awesome and memorable St. Patrick's Day, even if you're not Irish or don't have a drop of green blood. Get your green on, wear a fun costume if you want, cook up some hearty Irish fare, and get together with friends and family to celebrate. Don't just sit around drinking green beer - make some memories! Whether you're hitting up a parade, hosting a bash, or just hanging with your besties, embrace the luck o' the Irish. May the road rise up to meet you and good times find you this March 17th. Sláinte!

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