Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17 which is the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland. For those who celebrate, it’s a day filled with Celtic music, Irish food, green attire and possibly green beer. Many cities across America will have parades with onlookers and participants dressed in funny leprechaun hats and shamrocks. Nearby the Chicago River will be dyed green which is a tradition that began nearly six decades ago.
Celebration of this day dates back much further than that. It was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century. Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day. Perhaps because of this, drinking alcohol has become part of the celebrations.
Started in Ireland, where Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday, there’s a custom of "drowning the shamrock" or "wetting the shamrock". At the end of the celebrations, a shamrock is put into the bottom of a cup, which is then filled with whiskey or beer. Its then drunk as a toast to Saint Patrick. The shamrock would either be swallowed with the drink or taken out and tossed over the shoulder for good luck.
If you partake in any alcohol drinking with your festivities this weekend please remember this. According to the US Department of Transportation, drunk driving accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle-related fatalities in the United States. Please, if you plan to go out and enjoy the evening with alcohol, make sure you refrain from driving.
I wish you all a Happy and Safe St. Paddy’s Day Weekend!