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Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Updated on September 2, 2012

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

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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's Irish Dance Master Class
Jean Butler's Irish Dance Master Class

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.

 
St. Patrick: The Irish Legend
St. Patrick: The Irish Legend

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?

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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)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 7 hours 50 min
Ready in: 8 hours
Yields: 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • Salt
  • Butter

Instructions

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Cast your vote for Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

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 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!

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.

Feeling Irish?

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    • grandma deal profile image

      grandma deal 

      7 years ago

      The DLTK's site has a great-looking Irish Soda Bread Recipe. That one's going in my collection. Lot of fun things here for the grandchildren (and grandma). I'm sure everyone has a touch of Irish. My Dad's mom was half Irish. Good job.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Very nice lens on Saint Patrick's Day. I was interested to learn the origins of Corned Beef and Cabbage. Lensrolled and featured on my Limericks For Saint Patrick's Day lens.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Happy St. Patty's Day (early) to you!! Lensrolling to a couple of my similar lenses. =D

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm very Irish and so I've lensrolled this to all my lenses about Ireland and Irish genealogy, etc.

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