St. Patrick’s Day – Origins, Legends and Traditions

How will you commemorate this St. Patrick’s day? Will you enjoy New York’s Fifth Avenue parade, which is the nation’s largest and most popular event? Or use the occasion as a legitimate excuse to hit one of the many Irish pubs in your city? Perhaps, like the rest of the US, you will wear Green. Do you know how these traditions came to be followed and which of the St Patrick’s day legends are even true? Read on to find out


– St. Patrick’s Day marks the death of Ireland’s patron saint in 461 AD. After being snatched from his family, captured and enslaved for several years, the young Maewyn, experienced a closeness with God. Later, a vision helped him realize his higher calling – to convert Pagans to Christianity. He went about this mission for over 30 years, building schools, churches and monasteries in Ireland, converting the country to the Christian faith.

– Folklore has it that he rid Ireland of snakes. However, Ireland is not known to have housed any snakes. The reference, some believe, is to Pagans, whom St. Patrick set out to convert. 

– Another legend mentions his use of the three-leafed shamrock to represent the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock has come to be considered as the symbol representing St. Patrick’s Day. Its green color is perhaps the reason behind people wearing green on this day. Or maybe the green leaf denotes the advent of spring, which is only a few days away. 

– In the US, St. Patrick’s Day was first publicly celebrated in Boston in the year 1737. The Charitable Irish Society organized the first parade. 

– The traditional Irish meal originally comprised of boiled bacon and potatoes. 

– When Ireland’s potato famine forced the Irish to make other countries their home, they brought along some traditions and made up new ones as time went by. 

– The traditional meal too was replaced by other substitutes. If you were to pop into an Irish American kitchen on St Patrick’s day, you might be treated to a sumptuous meal corn beef or beef slow cooked with cabbage.  

 – St Patrick’s Day is one of the most eagerly awaited holidays for several reasons. Not the least significant of them is the fact that, after attending church, people hit the pubs to down beer and ale, celebrating the feast of St. Patrick. 

According to one study, conducted by BIGresearch, there will be a decline in St Patrick’s Day celebrations spending this year. People will spend on average $ 3.00 less than they did in 2008 on food, festivities and beverages to celebrate this holiday. 

Well, one thing you don’t have to worry about spending on is on St Patrick’s Day ecards. Like all our other categories, these animated ecards are free and ready to be sent out to your friends and family on the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day. If you want to make your own greeting cards and print them out, you can do that too with our Printable Cards section.