St. Patrick’s Day Traditions in America

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17 and is a recognized holiday in the United States. This holiday has been happily celebrated since 1737, when Irish immigrants first arrived in the United States. In the centuries since, it has become a beloved tradition in the United States, with many unique American customs associated with it.

History of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a popular holiday celebrated annually on March 17, the known death date of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

The celebrations that occur today began around 1737 when the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in Boston, Massachusetts. The first parade in New York City happened in 1762 and has been a tradition ever since. The celebrations often include wearing green clothing and displaying shamrock decorations, eating traditional Irish food and music, attending mass services for St. Patrick, playing Irish tunes on bagpipes or fiddles and observing ancient Irish folklore traditions such as banishing evil from villages by beating drums or lighting bonfires.

St. Patrick’s Day originally began as a religious festival to commemorate Saint Patrick and how he brought Christianity to Ireland during the 5th century AD. He was one of the first missionaries sent by Pope Celestine I to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the largely pagan population that existed in Ireland at the time of his arrival in 432 AD. Throughout his life, he became associated with various miracles attributed to him including driving all snakes out of Ireland for good (which is why no snakes are found there today).

The modern-day festivities surrounding St. Patrick’s Day are largely derived from traditions established generations ago when Irish immigrants moved all over Europe and eventually transported these long-held customs and beliefs back home once they returned from their travels abroad. From this point forward, it was customary for people worldwide to celebrate Saint Paddy with an annual public holiday known as St. Patrick’s Day!

Significance of St. Patrick’s Day

For people in the United States and all around the world, St. Patrick’s Day is more than just an excuse to dress up in green and drink beer. It celebrates the life of St. Patrick, who established Christianity in Ireland and was widely known for his missionary efforts.

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that commemorates this very important figure in Ireland’s history. For centuries, it has been a celebration of faith, heritage, culture – and of course, revelry! On March 17th each year, millions of people celebrate with parades, music festivals, feasts honoring Irish dishes like corned beef and cabbage – even dyed-green rivers!

It is said that when St. Patrick died on March 17th 461 A.D., people gathered to honor his legacy with a religious celebration of sorts — music and dancing were also common activities at gatherings to mark the occasion — and soon this holiday achieved widespread popularity all over Europe and eventually across the United States as large numbers of Irish immigrants moved to America for work opportunities in the 18th & 19th centuries.

Today St. Patrick’s Day is essentially about celebrating Irish culture around the world: pride for one’s roots; respect for religion; reveling in good food & drink; wearing green on special days; reverential moments during parades & festivities; gathering together as families or friends — these are some of what makes St. Patrick’s Day an event unlike any other!

What are the american traditions for st patrick’s day

St Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in America for almost 250 years! Each year, millions of Americans take part in the festivities and celebrate Irish heritage, culture, and traditions.

There are many different traditions that have become popular over the years, from wearing green and attending parades to drinking Guinness and eating Irish stew. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common American traditions for St Patrick’s Day.

Wearing Green

Wearing green is one of the most popular ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in America. Although green was not associated with St. Patrick or Ireland until the 19th century, the tradition has taken off in the United States and it’s now common to see people wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, this is seen as a way of showing your appreciation for Irish culture and heritage, even if you have no Irish ancestry yourself.

The origin of wearing green on this holiday dates back to at least the 17th century in Ireland when people began to use shamrock – a sign of Irish nationalism – as an emblem during this festival. In addition, “the wearing of the green” was a popular protest slogan against British rule during the 19th century movements for Irish independence so it later became a symbol used widely by freedom fighters.

Nowadays, many Americans take part in buying or wearing Clover-shaped accessories like ties or pins as well as any kind of clothing that is predominantly green such as t-shirts, hats, scarves etcetera; this act symbolizes tribute and respect towards Irish culture and traditions and also helps spreading them throughout USA nowadays since several people consider it only one more excuse for celebrating with friends or family at bars or pubs where you can drink Guinness pints & enjoy traditional music!


St. Patrick’s Day parades have become a mainstay of American tradition and are celebrated with enthusiasm in virtually every state. Many cities have several smaller parades, usually held in the days leading up to the big event. Some of these parades feature bagpipers, marching bands, beauty queens, and other dignitaries on floats. The Chicago River even takes part in the celebrations – it is dyed a bright green for the occasion!

In New York City, the annual St Patrick’s Day parade has been held every year since 1762 and is one of the oldest continuing traditions in the United States. The New York City parade route runs up Fifth Ave between 44th Street and 79th Street and attracts 2 million spectators each year.

Other popular destinations for large events include Boston with its South Boston parade, Philadelphia where they started their own celebration in 1952, Savannah which holds what they claim is “the second largest parade,” Atlanta which celebrates its Irish heritage with this day-long event every year also Denver and San Diego who also hold their own unique parades too!

Irish Music

Irish music is an important part of the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, as Irish folk music and traditional dance can be found in many different parts of the U.S. Depending on location, you might have the opportunity to find live Irish bands playing at pubs and clubs or hear music being played in shops, restaurants, and neighborhoods.

The most recognizable type of Irish music is reels which are often familiar to those who enjoy traditional dancing. Reels can be identified by their high-spirited nature with a strong beat that often leads dancers in a spinning frenzy! To get the full benefit of the style and sound, search for some tunes written by local composers or have a listen to groups like Clannad, The Gloaming, or The Chieftains.

Popular Irish jigs are also often used in celebrations accompanied by lively dancing routines with lots of hopping and swinging from side to side. Jigs can be identified by their quick beats that go hand-in-hand with impressive footwork! A few well known jig musicians include Dervish, Kevin Burke Celtic Connection, Lunasa, Moving Cloud and Cherish The Ladies.

For those experiencing an American St. Patrick’s Day further away from home there are plenty of songs available on streaming services focusing on topics such as immigration experiences or Ireland’s turbulent past combined with Celtic fusions incorporating genres such as Folk Rock or Traditional Indie styles! Music enthusiasts should definitely check out offerings from Altan, Solas, Flogging Molly & The Pogues for a glimpse into more modern interpretations!

Eating Irish Food

Many Americans enjoy Irish-inspired food on St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, colcannon (a mashed potato and cabbage dish), Shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, boxty (a potato pancake), or Irish soda bread. Traditional Irish dishes use ingredients like potatoes and cabbage because they are inexpensive and plentiful in Ireland on a daily basis. Corned beef is often substituted for an even more affordable alternative – bacon – as it was easily available in early American markets.

The traditional colors of St. Patrick’s Day are green to honor the Emerald Isle – although blue is sometimes used. Large cities across the U.S., including New York City and Chicago, have parades with full marching bands playing festive music along their routes through the city streets on St. Patrick’s Day each year. Bars throughout the States open early to accommodate those who want to celebrate with a cold beer while many American homes boast decorations that include shamrocks hung around their doors to signify good luck during this special holiday season!


St. Patrick’s Day is an annual celebration of Irish culture in many countries around the world, but it is especially popular in the United States. Every March 17th, Americans come together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades, feasts, and a variety of traditional activities.

Read on to learn more about the American customs and traditions for St. Patrick’s Day.


St. Patrick’s day parties are a great way to bring the holiday spirit into our homes and offices. Traditional decorations usually feature shamrocks, leprechauns, or green-colored everything! Eating green is a popular trend when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, with many pubs and restaurants serving up an array of delicacies, from Guinness pie and corned beef & cabbage to green beer and frosted cookies!

Celebrants can simply make drinks and food at home to get in the spirit – wearing orange is optional! To add a little personal touch to the party, consider adding memorable Irish tunes or games such as Bag O’Lucky. When the party is over, why not send your guests home with personalized St. Patrick’s Day favors? From bowler hats to door signs, there are plenty of festive choices!

Pub Crawls

Pub Crawls are one of the most popular traditions when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. It involves a group of people visiting different bars, pubs or clubs in a certain area on the same night and having a few drinks along the way! This custom is often repeated year after year and has become an extremely popular activity for party-goers, especially on this particular day.

Pub Crawls may also include themes or costumes related to St Patrick’s day – leprechaun hats, four-leaf clovers, green apparel, etc. While participating in these crawls it’s important to stay safe and enjoy responsibly.

Irish Dancing

While the holiday is based on Irish history and culture, modern St. Patrick’s Day celebrations often feature a range of activities that people either enjoy or participate in. One example is the popular Irish dance style known as ‘riverdancing’. Alongside jigs, reels and clogging, Irish dancing has become an important part of many high-energy St. Patrick’s Day festivals and feasts.

It is primarily a group performance, with dancers becoming ever more intricate as they dexterously interchange positions in time with each other and the music. The structure of an Irish riverdance usually features couples facing each other in two parallel lines, with their legs creating an unmistakable line of alternating patterning.

Other forms of traditional folk dances shared include céilí dancing and set dances such as Biddy Mulligan’s Reel or Buckley’s Fancy. Whichever form is chosen by individual performers, participants frequently wear period costumes made up of billowing garments that flounce energetically while they take part in the centuries old tradition either onstage or offstage.

Other Traditions

On St. Patrick’s Day, Americans celebrate Irish heritage with an array of traditions. Parades, live music, church services, and feasting are some of the most popular activities during this holiday. Other traditions, such as lighting bonfires and wearing green clothing, are also part of the festivities.

In this article, we will discuss other American traditions related to St. Patrick’s Day.

Drinking Beer

Drinking beer is one of the most popular traditions of St. Patrick’s Day, however it is more of an American invention than an Irish one. Beer is consumed to honor Saint Patrick just as much as a way to celebrate the coming of spring.

There are many restaurants that hold special events on St. Patrick’s Day weekend and offer discounts for a variety of beers related to this holiday tradition. In Ireland, Guinness beer is particularly popular, along with Smithwick’s ale and Harp lager for people looking for the authentic Irish experience.

Additionally, various leprechaun-themed cocktails like sparkly green martinis and shamrock-topped alcoholic beverages have become trendy among some regions in the United States.

Kissing the Blarney Stone

The legendary Blarney Stone has been part of the folklore of St. Patrick’s Day for centuries. Many people have believed that if they kiss the stone, they will be granted “the gift of gab,” or the ability to talk their way out of any situation. The stone is actually part of the ramparts of a castle in County Cork, Ireland. While its exact origins are uncertain, it is believed to date back to pre-Christian times when Druids honored sacred formations like stones and boulders as gateways between this world and the next.

When couples kiss the Blarney Stone on St. Patrick’s Day, a tradition known as Darby O’Gillism takes place. A man and woman face away from each other and breathe toward each other’s outstretched hands — much like two flames meeting in an embrace. This symbolises that lovers are always together even when apart, telling those present a beautiful story about love and faithfulness — both values which St. Patrick held in his life.

Other traditions involving kissing the Blarney Stone include using a penny to purchase good luck charms from vendors around Cork City or hanging four-leafed clovers on door handles to ward off evil spirits while bringing luck into one’s home and life!

Searching for Leprechauns

Traditionally, the search for leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day is a popular activity for children.

Leprechauns are small mythical fairies from Irish folklore who are said to grant wishes if caught and are known for their mischievous behavior and tendency to hide pots of gold for others to find.

In modern times, leprechauns have become a symbol of all things fun and festive during St. Patrick’s Day, often appearing in green clothing with buckles on their shoes.

Depending on who you ask, many people think searching for these tiny sprites around the house or outside is an exciting way to celebrate the holiday. Other families might even make lemon drop cookies or candy-filled paper sacks as bait in hopes that they will lead them towards finding a real leprechaun before the day ends!

Planting Shamrocks

Planting shamrocks, a symbol of Ireland’s patron saint, is among the oldest of St. Patrick’s Day traditions. While it has declined in recent years, some people still observe the old custom during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

This tradition dates back to the 17th century and was based on the legend that Saint Patrick had used it to explain Christianity to the Irish people. He reputedly used its three leaves to describe the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In later years, shamrocks were enlisted in a number of political causes – often being worn as lapel pins or symbols of unity by both sides in Ireland’s civil war. Today people largely just display them for their luck-bringing attributes.

Shamrocks can be planted indoors if you get them from a nursery or grown from cuttings from an outdoor plant if you take care to provide warm temperatures, bright light and adequate moisture for survival. Also growing your own will save you money if you decide to give shamrocks away as gifts – although it requires annual replanting once planted outdoors since they’re not winter hardy plants in most climates.