St. Patrick’s Day occurs on March 17th in celebration of St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, who brought Christianity to the country. It began as a religious feast in the 17th century, but many of today’s traditions began in the 18th century. The most common events around the world celebrate Irish culture with parades, special food, music, dancing, and lots of GREEN. Chances are there’s a St. Patrick’s Day festival near you! In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is not an official holiday, but U.S. cities large and small celebrate the day, offering everything from parades to quirky traditions or family friendly festivals!
Last year GreatAuPair au pairs in Detroit went to the St. Patrick’s Day parade and showed their spirit by wearing green!
Fun Facts about St. Patrick’s Day:
We actually should be wearing blue: The original color for St. Patrick’s Day was blue, who knew right? The color green became associated with the holiday because of Ireland’s independence movement.
Saint Patrick wasn’t even Irish: We aren’t kidding, he was born to Roman Parents in Scotland or Wales, but made his mark on Ireland by introducing Christianity to the country in 432.
The shamrock: According to legend, St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover (or shamrock) to explain the Christian concept of the Trinity.
Corn beef and cabbage: This dish was eaten on the holiday because Irish Americans were so poor that they could not afford certain meals. On St. Patrick’s Day, the best meal they could afford was beef and cabbage so it was adopted as the traditional meal of the holiday. Everyone seems to agree because each year 41.4 billion pounds of beef and 2.5 billion pounds of cabbage are sold each year just for St. Patrick’s Day!
Dyeing a river green? The practice of dyeing a river green started in Chicago in 1962, when city officials decided to dye a portion of the Chicago River green. Many other cities have followed this tradition since. Can you believe that it takes about 40 tons of dye to get the Chicago river that festive shade of green?
Ever wonder what’s at the end of the rainbow? It’s a pot of gold of course! Irish Legend says that the Leprechaun, a mythical, mischievous elf, hides his gold at the end of a rainbow. If a human captures a Leprechaun, the Leprechaun will grant 3 wishes to be set free!
Activity Ideas for Kids and Au Pairs:
Check out our St. Patrick’s Day Crafts and Activity Ideas on Pinterest: GreatAuPair USA Pinterest
Check out this adorable finger print rainbow: www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/shari-carter/2017/St-Patricks-Day-Activities-That-Kids-Will-LOVE/
Coloring Pages to Print Out: