When is St. Patrick’s Day in 2017? Who is St. Patrick? Why do we wear shamrocks? Did he drink green beer? Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day history, legend, and lore!
Who Was Saint Patrick?
St. Patrick was the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
March 17 is widely accepted as the date of St. Patrick’s death in A.D. 461.
Was there really a St. Patrick? Definitely. Did he really drive the snakes out of Ireland? Probably not.
At age 16 (around A.D. 400), Patrick was kidnapped from his home on the west coast of England and carried off to Ireland. After six years, he escaped; upon returning home, he received his call (in a dream) to preach the Gospel. He spent the next 15 or so years in a monastery, preparing for his missionary work. Although some Christians lived in Ireland at the time, it was Patrick who spread Christianity throughout the land and brought an organized church into existence.
We wear a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day because Patrick used its three leaves to explain the Trinity. But, as far as we know, he never drank green beer!
Long before the shamrock became associated with St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), the four-leaf clover was regarded by ancient Celts as a charm against evil spirits.
In the early 1900s, O. H. Benson, an Iowa school superintendent, came up with the idea of using a clover as the emblem for a newly founded agricultural club for children in his area. In 1911, the four-leaf clover was chosen as the emblem for the national club program, later named 4-H.
St. Patrick’s Day of the Week 2017
* See note below.
|Year||St. Patrick’s Day|
|2017||Friday, March 17|
|2018||Saturday, March 17|
|2019||Sunday, March 17|
*Note: On those years when St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday or during Holy Week, the Almanac keeps it there and treats it as a secular holiday only. Churches may transfer this to another date, however, for the feast day. Or, cities may change their celebration date.
St. Patrick’s Day Facts, Fun, and Folklore
The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the American colonies was held in New York City on this day in 1762.
If you’re inclined toward the legend, lore, and festivities of the saint and how the Irish honor him, check out this St. Patrick’s Day site, where you’ll find everything from parades to recipes.
Cabbage seeds are often planted today, and old-time farmers believed that to make them grow well, you needed to plant them while wearing your nightclothes! See our Cabbage Growing Guide and play your own. No PJs required! :-)
On St. Patrick’s Day, the warm side of a stone turns up,
and the broad-back goose begins to lay.
St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
Would you like to cook something special for St. Patrick’s Day? You don’t need the luck of the Irish! Check out our list of St. Patrick’s Day recipes for corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and more ideas beyond green milk and beer!