Hi Everyone. Just wanted to wish you all a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all The Irish Store Family here in Dublin. Whatever you’re doing today, I hope you’re having fun and catching up and reuniting with friends and family. Above is a picture of us all in our finest Aran sweaters from The Irish Store outside Trinity College which is just around the corner from our offices. With the day that’s in it, I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at some of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day traditions.
St. Patrick’s Day Traditions.
So we have our American cousins to thank for the first St. Patrick’s Day parade! It all began with the Irish diaspora who wanted to mark the day in the states. The first parade took place in Boston in 1737 while New York held the first official parade in 1766. In Ireland, the first parade was held in Waterford in 1903. The biggest parade in Ireland is in Dublin when around half a million people descend on the capital city. Great to have it back again this year!
2. Wearing Green
Before the 17th century, blue was the color of choice for St. Patrick’s Day. As Irish nationalism grew, so did the wearing of the green. There were also the associations with the Emerald Isle, so called because of the color of our world famous rich green landscape.
There’s also another fun tradition associated with wearing green, courtesy of our friends in the USA. Anyone not wearing green on St.Patrick’s is in danger of being pinched! The tall tale goes that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns and in turn and keeps you safe from their pinching. The tradition of pinching people who are not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day still continues in the US to this day!
Many of us will be proudly wearing our shamrock on March 17th. Although the harp is Ireland’s official national emblem, the lucky shamrock is the favored choice for St. Patrick’s Day. Indeed, the shamrock is closely associated with the man himself. Legend has it that St.Patrick used the three leaved Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to would be Christian converts in 5th century Ireland.
4. Global Greening
This is a much more modern tradition and one of my favorites. Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative began 10 years ago where international landmarks are illuminated in green around the world as well as in towns and cities all over Ireland. The initiative has seen iconic buildings such as The Empire State Building, The Sydney Opera House and Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris all beautifully decked out in green for the big day. Then there’s the Chicago River (pictured) which also goes green for St. Patrick’s Day-a tradition that started back in 1962.
Thanks for dropping by. Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!