St. Patrick’s Day may be known in our country for boisterous celebration and dyeing both rivers and beer various shades of emerald, but the holiday is actually rich with culture and tradition.
According to Eamonn McGrath, a native Irishman and executive director of the Irish Cultural Center of New England, the 19th century Irish American immigrants celebrated St. Patrick’s Day as a way to honor their ancestry while embracing their new homeland. He likens it to our 4th of July, where people spend time with family, enjoy special food and go to a parade.
McGrath notes that the holiday is “more raucously and widely celebrated” in other countries than it is in Ireland…a paradox that actually makes sense. “All people with Irish heritage long for home,” he says.
Irish or not, here are some ways to add some culture and creativity and flavor the holiday with some genuine Irish spirit: