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All about St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day, observed on March 17, is both a cultural and religious holiday named in honor of the patron saint of Ireland. The feast of Saint Patrick took place in 1631 to commemorate his life and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland on the anniversary of his death, which was believed to be March 17, 461 AD. In the centuries following his death, the mythology surrounding his life became more ingrained in the Irish culture, but with very little known about him.

pats1- In 1737, Irish immigrants first celebrated the Feast of Saint Patrick in the United States. Irish families attended church in the morning then partied in the afternoon. They would dance, drink and feast on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage. Corned beef was substituted for bacon by Irish immigrants in the late 19th century.

Interestingly, on March 17, 1762, the first parade to honor St. Patrick’s Day took place in the United States when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. Through time, with more than 100 parades held across the United States, New York City and Boston are home to the oldest and most magnificent. Green carnations and lime green chrysanthemums (daisy, cushion, spider, button, anemone, and micro) are sought for these festivities.

Perhaps the most well-known legend is that St. Patrick used the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock, to demonstrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Triads, or groups of three, were a mystical number in the Celtic religion. The three-leafed plant is an integral part of an old tradition called “drowning the shamrock.” This tradition occurs on St. Patrick’s Day. The worn shamrock is removed from a hat or lapel and placed into the last drink of the evening. After the toast, the shamrock is taken from the bottom of the glass and thrown over the left shoulder. Sláinte!

St. Patrick’s Day is observed by many people, Irish and non-Irish alike, with parades, shamrocks, corned beef and cabbage, and all things green — which has very little to do with the historical figure of the saint. For those who observe its intended meaning, it’s a traditional day for spiritual renewal.

Melissa Jones is an experienced mass market and e-commerce buyer with over 15 years in the floriculture industry.