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St. Patrick's Day food and traditions

I'm Sarah - wife to my amazing husband, John, and mom to two little girls, Cami and Maisie.  I used to work in the finance industry before having my daughters, and now I'm a freelance personal finance writer and blogger.  I love being wi...

All about St. Patrick's Day

This year, St. Patrick's Day falls on Sunday, March 17 — it's right around the corner! Let's start some new traditions and really celebrate what the holiday is all about.
All about St. Patrick's Day

What exactly is St. Patrick's Day? Well, it's a day of celebrating St. Patrick that goes as far back as the 17th century. St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland — and we celebrate St. Patrick's Day on March 17 of every year, which is the anniversary of his death. Let's take a look at common traditions and ways of celebrating the holiday, plus how to make it fun for you and your family!

The traditions

St. Patrick's Day is one of the holidays with the most fun traditions. You get to wear green and pinch those who don't, plus drink as much beer as possible in true Irish fashion. Other traditions to partake in include:

  • Attend a St. Patrick's Day parade. Large parades are held in most major U.S. cities, but even smaller cities typically have some sort of parade perfect for attending with the family. Click here for the best cities to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in.
  • Have the kids search for a four-leaf clover. They're rare, but if you live in an area with clovers it could be fun to let the kids try and find one. Each leaf represents something different — hope, faith, love and happiness.
  • Make shamrock shakes. They're super simple — mint chip ice cream blended with a little milk. Or get a McCafe Shamrock Shake from McDonalds. It's the perfect blend of mint and vanilla topped with whipped cream and a cherry.
  • Have a St. Patrick's Day party. Invite family and friends over for corned beef hash and green beer. Play Irish music and put the movie Leprechaun on replay!

The food

Any holiday that involves good food and lots of drinking is a favorite in our book! Due to these criteria, St. Patrick's Day is one not to miss. Whether you go all-out celebrating the holiday or prefer to lay low, you at least have to partake in the delicious foods! Traditional St. Patrick's Day food and beverages include:

All about St. Patrick's Day

Let's also not forget about green desserts! Essentially, any light-colored dessert (such as sugar cookies, vanilla cupcakes or cheesecake) can be made green with a few drops of food coloring. If you're looking for real green desserts, think key lime pie, lime Jell-O, mint chocolate chip ice cream cake or crème de menthe brownies.

For the adults… St. Patrick's Day beverages

If you're a beer-drinker, make sure to indulge in a Guinness this St. Patrick's Day. Other popular beers include Sam Adam's Irish Red, Miller Genuine Draft, Dos Equis, Coors Light and Heineken. Remember, for any light lager you can add a few drops of green food coloring for a festive green beer.

And if beer's not your thing, don't fret. We have 7 lucky St. Patrick's Day cocktails just for you and even some green cocktails. Be sure to try one (or maybe all seven!) this St. Patrick's Day.

More on St. Patrick's Day

Shamrock crafts for St. Patrick's Day
DIY St. Patrick's Day decor
How to throw a kid-friendly St. Patrick's Day party

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