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St. Patrick's Day Celebration

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

Mar 12 2015

Cliffs of Moher

For just one day a year, everybody's at least a little bit Irish, regardless of their background. St. Patrick's Day in its current incarnation honors the people of the Emerald Isle and the rich cultural heritage of this country. From its whimsical folklore, replete with fairies, leprechauns, and other mischievous creatures to the deep spiritual connection of the Irish to the land they call home, there are many facets to the St. Patrick's Day celebration.

St. Patrick's Day is of course named for Ireland's patron saint, and many of the most iconic symbols of the holiday trace back to him. Among them is the shamrock. Saint Patrick originally used the small green leaf as a way to illustrate the nature of the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland as he spread Christianity through the country. Images of Saint Patrick with a clover in hand date back to the 1600s. Various accounts from throughout the centuries describe the tradition of wearing a shamrock to honor Saint Patrick on his feast day, March 17.

With the prevalence of the color green in the Saint Patrick's Day celebration, it may be a bit surprising to know that the traditional color of Saint Patrick – and of Ireland itself – is a specific shade of blue. However, a number of factors made green the color of choice to celebrate the day, the biggest among them being the simple fact that the Emerald Isle is – well – very green!  The Irish have a true love for their land, for very good reason, so one of the best ways to commemorate this holiday is to celebrate by enjoying your little patch of green.

While March 17 may be a little bit early for your garden to be in full bloom, there are plenty of ways that you can bring a little bit of the Ireland into your backyard as you celebrate with friends and family.

 Rack of Lamb

While corned beef and cabbage may be traditional Irish dishes, you can easily create contemporary dishes with an Irish twist. Looking to put some green on your guests plate? Try some deviled eggs mixed with avocado for a delicious, holiday-appropriate twist on this appetizer. If it's still a little cool out when March 17 comes around, opt for an Irish stew crafted from traditional ingredients. Or if the weather's right for cooking on your grill, perhaps try a grilled rack of lamb with some potatoes on the side! While green beer may be traditional, try stocking some Guinness in your outdoor fridge instead for an experience that will make you feel as if you're cozying up with the locals at a Limerick pub.

Though the natural green of your outdoor area is the best decoration that nature can provide, there are plenty of other great elements that you can use to show your Irish spirit proudly. Craft green and white hydrangeas into a beautiful wreath and transform green ribbons into shamrocks with a little bit of creative work. Whether you choose to have an intimate gathering or a celebration worthy of a big city parade, the luck of the Irish will certainly be on your side.   

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