Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated: Unveiling The Origins And Traditions

Why is St Patrick’s Day celebrated? This question serves as the gateway to a rich tapestry of Irish history, cultural significance, and age-old traditions that have transcended borders. Delving into the reason of celebrating St Patrick’s Day reveals a compelling narrative of religious devotion, resilience, and the enduring spirit of a nation. 

Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated?

“Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated?” This seemingly simple question opens the door to a fascinating journey into the past, beckoning Custom Gifts UK to unravel the roots of this widely celebrated Irish tradition. To answer this query, we must delve into the life and legacy of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, whose story forms the bedrock of this annual celebration. 

The Origin of St Patrick’s Day 

St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th, is the feast day dedicated to St. Patrick, the revered patron saint of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century, St. Patrick’s life took a dramatic turn when, at the age of 16, he was kidnapped and transported to Ireland as a slave. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day
Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Answer to this question: “Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated On March 17th?”, this is an annual celebration to commemorate its roots in the remarkable life of St. Patrick, who, after escaping captivity, returned to Ireland around 432 CE with a divine calling to convert its people to Christianity. By the time of his death on March 17, 461, St. Patrick had left an indelible mark on Ireland, having established monasteries, churches, and schools. 

Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated With Green?

The tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with green gained prominence in the 18th century, marking a shift in the way the holiday was observed. Before that, the color blue was often associated with St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. 

However, with the rising popularity of the shamrock as a national symbol, green began to take center stage in the festivities. The shamrock, being inherently green, became a powerful representation of Irish identity, both culturally and visually. The association between the shamrock and St. Patrick’s Day was solidified, giving rise to the widespread use of green in the St Patrick’s Day celebration.

The Symbols of St Patrick’s Day

Beyond the historical and religious roots of St. Patrick’s Day lies a tapestry of symbols, each carrying its own significance and contributing to the question “Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated?”

  • Leprechauns

Leprechauns, with their origins deeply rooted in Irish mythology, have evolved into one of the most recognizable symbols of traditional St Patrick’s Day. These small, bearded creatures clad in green are said to be cobblers by trade, creating and repairing shoes with unparalleled craftsmanship. 

During St Patrick’s Day celebrations, the presence of leprechaun imagery in parades, decorations, and cultural events serves as a bridge between the past and the present. It becomes a way for people to connect with the folklore that has shaped Irish identity, honoring the cultural heritage through these whimsical and captivating symbols.

  • Shamrocks

Shamrocks, the iconic three-leafed clovers long associated with Ireland, stand as one of the enduring symbols of St. Patrick’s Day. Modern legend intertwines St. Patrick with the use of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity during his missionary work in Ireland. 

Shamrock Is The Symbol of St. Patrick's Day
Shamrock Is The Symbol of St. Patrick’s Day

Regardless, the mystique surrounding the shamrock persisted, and in the 18th century, it became entwined with Ireland’s political landscape. The question “Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated” finds an answer in the symbolism of the shamrock, which took on new significance during Ireland’s push for independence from Britain. 

During this period, Catholic Irish republicans adopted green as a symbol, mirroring the color of the isle’s lush grass, and incorporated shamrocks into their iconography as well as the collective desire for freedom. Simultaneously, their Protestant adversaries adopted the color orange, reflecting their identification with William of Orange. This divergence in color symbolism of St Patrick’s Day celebration reflected the deep-rooted historical and religious divisions within Ireland. 

  • Harps

Historically, the harp has been a symbol of Ireland’s rich cultural heritage, with roots dating back to the medieval period. An intriguing episode involving Norman chronicler Gerald of Wales during his travels to Ireland in the 1180s sheds light on the enduring allure of the harp. 

Gerald, initially disdainful of what he termed the “barbarous” Irish, found his perspective transformed when he was captivated by the music of Irish harpists. The enchanting melodies, played on this iconic instrument, nearly swayed his opinion. The question “Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated” gains a sonorous answer in the harmonious notes of the harp, as it stands as a testament to the captivating power of Irish music and its ability to bridge cultural divides.

The Most Common Dishes On St Patrick’s Day

As the world dons shades of green and revels in joyous festivities, the aroma of traditional Irish dishes fills the air, marking the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. 

  • Corned Beef and Cabbage

The origins of this culinary tradition are intertwined with Irish-American communities in the United States, where corned beef was a more accessible alternative to traditional Irish bacon. The rich, savory flavors of slow-cooked corned beef, paired with tender cabbage and root vegetables, evoke a sense of home and tradition. The question “Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated” finds a savory answer in the communal gathering around this beloved dish, connecting people to the roots of Irish heritage.

  • Soda Bread

No St. Patrick’s Day feast is complete without a generous serving of Irish Soda Bread. Its humble yet delicious composition of flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt results in a dense, slightly sweet bread with a golden-brown crust. This simple yet hearty bread reflects the resourcefulness of Irish kitchens and has become a staple on St. Patrick’s Day tables around the world.

The Traditional Dishes of St Patrick's Day
The Traditional Dishes of St Patrick’s Day

  • Guinness

This velvety, dark beer has become synonymous with Irish culture and the global celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The distinct flavor profile of Guinness, with its notes of roasted malt and hints of coffee and chocolate, provides a perfect accompaniment to the festivities. Whether enjoyed at a lively pub or as part of a traditional Irish meal, Guinness embodies the convivial spirit of the celebration. 

  • Colcannon

A simple yet flavorful combination of mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage, and butter, Colcannon is a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day food. The dish reflects the agrarian roots of Ireland and the resourcefulness of its people. Enjoyed as a side or a main St. Patrick’s Day dish, Colcannon brings a taste of Irish heritage to the celebratory feast. 

The reason why is St Patrick’s Day celebrated resonates not only in the vibrant festivities but also in the shared experience of savoring these traditional Irish delights, bringing people together to honor the legacy of St. Patrick and the cultural richness of Ireland.

Looking for St Patrick’s Day food ideas? Let find out at A Culinary Journey Through Festive St Patrick’s Day Food Ideas.

5 Traditional Activities on St Patrick’s Day Can’t Be Missed

As the festive spirit of St. Patrick’s Day sweeps across the globe, a myriad of traditional activities takes center stage, creating a lively atmosphere that resonates with Irish culture.

  • Cook Traditional St Patrick’s Day Food

One cannot fully embrace St. Patrick’s Day without indulging in the culinary delights that define Irish gastronomy. Cooking traditional St. Patrick’s Day food is one of the most cherished activities for St Patricks Day, where kitchens come alive with the aromas of corned beef, cabbage, Irish soda bread, and other mouthwatering delights.

  • Four Leaf Clover Hunt

This activity, rooted in Irish folklore, brings an element of luck and excitement to the celebration. The search for the elusive four-leaf clover symbolizes good fortune and the spirit of community. As families and friends engage in this timeless pursuit, the reason why is St Patrick’s Day celebrated transforms into a quest for both a rare find and the joy of communal exploration, creating lasting memories and connections.

  • Wear Green

A vibrant sea of green envelops St. Patrick’s Day, and wearing green becomes an essential tradition. From clothing to accessories, the streets and gatherings are awash with the color, creating a visual spectacle that mirrors the lush landscapes of Ireland.

Try out these St Patrick’s Day outfit ideas at St Patrick’s Day Outfit Ideas For All Ages And Occasions.

Wearing Green on St. Patrick's Day
Wearing Green on St. Patrick’s Day

  • Present Irish Music

Irish music holds a special place in traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and presenting this melodious tradition becomes a cherished activity. Jigs and reels, such as “The Irish Washerwoman” and “The Kesh Jig,” bring the lively and infectious spirit of traditional Irish dance to the celebration. 

  • Go To Watch Parades

Going to watch parades is a time-honored tradition that brings communities together to revel in the festive displays. The streets come alive with a kaleidoscope of colors, music, and dance, embodying the spirit of Irish culture. The reason why is St Patrick’s Day celebrated is magnificently displayed in these parades, where the collective energy and enthusiasm create an unforgettable experience for participants and spectators alike.


In conclusion, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day unveils a captivating tapestry of origins and traditions that have seamlessly woven into the fabric of Irish culture and global festivities. The question on “Why Is St Patrick’s Day Celebrated?” finds a multifaceted answer in the myriad activities and culinary delights that mark this special day.