USA: St. Patrick's Day                                                      

On March 17th, Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Americans celebrate an Irish saint because of the large wave of immigration from Ireland to the USA. Some say that on St. Patrick’s Day, “everybody is a little bit Irish.” In fact, today, almost 39 million Americans claim some Irish ancestry—which is 8-10 times the current population of Ireland! 

In the US, St. Patrick’s Day is a nonreligious celebration of Irish culture. The spirit is one of fun and friendliness. You do not have to be Irish to join in. In cities with large Irish populations, there is a parade. Many children wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. Wearing green is a way of showing appreciation of Irish culture—its spirit, its music and its writing. St. Patrick’s Day is not a legal or business holiday.

The Symbols of St. Patrick’s Day

Shamrocks

St. Patrick used a shamrock (three-leaf clover) to illustrate the Trinity, a core aspect of Christianity. A four-leaf clover is sometimes seen too, as a good luck symbol.

Little Men in Hats

These men in green clothes (image) are a modern-day blend of the 19th century Irish farmer and the leprechaun (fairy) that is said to live in Irish forests.

Pot of Gold

If you catch a leprechaun, he will offer you a pot of gold for his freedom. But be careful—he usually escapes before you get the gold!