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Celebrate St. Patrick's Day
Have a Great St. Patrick's Day Celebration!
St. Patrick's Day is known as the day when everyone is Irish, so I hope to introduce you to a little of the history of St. Patrick's Day as well as share some fun ideas for celebrations with friends and family. From traditional Irish beliefs, to recipes for traditional Irish foods (and drinks), there's a little bit of Irish information here to help you enjoy your St. Patrick's Day. So, whether you are cooking corned beef and cabbage for the family, planning a bash with friends, or working on St. Patricks's day crafts with the kids, I hope to help you have a great Saint Paddy's Day celebration.
Image courtesy VintageHolidayCrafts.com
How Did These St. Patrick's Day Traditions Begin?
Some Historical Tidbits
Corned beef and cabbage is closely associated with St. Patrick's Day, but this tradition began in America, not in Ireland. Most of the Irish immigrants to the United States were poor, so meat was not an everyday part of their diet. On special occasions when meat was served, the brisket was commonly used because it was cheap. Brining the meat (a custom borrowed from Jewish neighbors in New York) was a way to make the meat tender. Cabbage was also very cheap so it was commonly served. Over time this special meal became associated with and served for a very special occasion, St. Patrick's Day, and the tradition was born.
The shamrock was considered sacred by the Celts (ancient Irish) because it symbolized rebirth. By the 17th century as the Irish struggled against English rule, the shamrock became a symbol of Irish nationalism and was worn with pride by many Irish. Also, St. Patrick used the shamrock to symbolize the trinity, so it was assoiciated with him.
Wearing green is associated with Ireland, known as the "Emerald Isle", and also with the color of the shamrock.
Leprechauns are a purely American introduction into St. Patrick's Day celebrations, probably fueled by the 1959 Disney movie Darby O'Gill and the Little People. (Leprechauns were only minor figures in the Celtic folk tales of Ireland).
Experience Ireland - Through Videos
If you can't visit Ireland, the next best thing is experiencing the beauty and history through videos.
Jean Butler, an original star of Riverdance, shows techniques and exercises suitable for the beginner to the more accomplished dancer. Explore Irish dance at home.
This made-for-TV movie about St. Patrick is an inspiratinal movie suitable for family entertainment.
Do You Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
How Important is celebrating St. Patrick's Day?
Corned beef is a traditional food for St. Patrick's Day. This recipe for a slow cooker version makes it simple enough to make that you don't need to wait for a special occasion.
(Photo credit: Hugh Candyside, Flickr)
- 1 small onion (quartered)
- 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
- 1 corned beef brisket (about 3 1/2 pounds
- 2 cups sliced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
- Black pepper
- 1 head green cabbage cored and quartered (about 2 pounds)
- Put the onion and garlic on the bottom of a 4 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker. Add the corned beef and carrots. If the brisket comes with a seasoning packet, use this plus 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. (If no packet, add 2 bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds and black pepper to taste). Pour enough water in to just cover the meat. Put on the top and forget it!
- There are two ways to add the cabbage. If you are cooking the brisket on low, you can add the cabbage about 1 hour after you start cooking the meat. Or, you can cook it on top of the stove in a small amount of boiling water, just until tender (about 10-15 minutes). Drain and season with salt, pepper, and butter.
- When ready to serve, put meat on cutting board and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing (unless you can't wait to eat it!). Serve the meat with the cabbage and carrots. Be sure to spoon the cooking juices over the meat and vegetables.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Video Recipe
This video shows a step-by-step recipe for making corned beef and cabbage. For those unfamiliar with this dish, it is very helpful. For example there is a very clear description of how to core and cut up the cabbage.
Find Irish Recipes
Find recipes for all occasions Irish by checking out these links! Traditional foods (including some health-conscious recipes) can be found here. I was amazed by the number of Irish recipes to be found.
- St Patrick's Day Recipe Collection
A collection of recipes for Irish beverages, breads. desserts, dinners, scones, breads, and more..
- 7 Healthy Irish Recipes
Celebrate March 17 this year with these traditional Irish food recipes made healthy from EatingWell, including potato colcannon, soda bread and much more.
- Irish Recipes from Allrecipes.com
A variety of recipes including Irish soda bread..
- Irish Flag Cookies Recipe
Recipe from Allrecipes.com for a delicious sugar cookie with simple instructions for decorating as Irish flag. A fun way to celebrate the holiday!
St. Patrick's Day Fun for Families
St. Patrick's Day is a fun holiday to celebrate with kids. Instructions for many St. Patrick's Day crafts are readily available online. Try some of these sites to find new ideas to enrich your family traditions and build memories with your children. Think green and enjoy!
- St. Patrick's Day Activities
Happy St. Patrick's Day. Free St. Patricks day wallpapers,cards,history and more. Includes links to coloring pages, jokes, etc.
- Free Vintage St. Patricks Day Greeting Cards: Cute Kids
These free vintage St. Patrick's Day greeting cards feature cute kids celebrating the holiday by wearing green, dancing, waving the Irish flag, having parades and even kissing!
- DLTK's St. Patrick's Day Crafts for Kids
This site contains lots of great printables and fun craft activities for kids.
- St. Patrick's Day: Irish Traditions and Symbols & St. Patrick's Day History from American Greeti
St. Patrick's Day is a lively holiday celebrated every March 17. Learn about the origin of St. Patrick's Day, about St. Patrick and the holiday's history. Also read about simple Irish traditions and Irish symbols. Erin Go Bragh!
- St. Patricks Day Kids Ideas | FamilyFun
Great Family Fun Ideas for St. Patricks Day. Find St. Patricks Day Crafts, Recipes and other St. Patrick's Day Activities for Kids on FamilyFun.com
- St. Patrick's Day Ideas at Tip Junkie
This is a huge collection of craft ideas, activities, and more.
- St. Patrick's Day | Talk Crafty To Me
Dedicated to all things handmade.. Several printables to help celebrate the day (cupcake toppers, stationary, stickers and more)..
Get Crafty for St. Patrick's Day
Explore some of these craft ideas for St. Patrick's Day to use at home or school.
Entertaining for St. Patrick's Day?
Get in the spirit of the holiday with tableware or linens. Here are several cute Irish themed items to help you celebrate with family or friends.
I welcome any comments or suggestions.