Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held annually on March 17th in honor of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. This day also commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.
Saint Patrick’s Day is also a celebration of Irish heritage and culture. Celebrations usually involve public parades and festivals. Irish step dancing, and wearing green attire, or shamrocks. (A shamrock is a young sprig, used as a symbol of Ireland. It is said that Saint Patrick used it as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity.) Christians also attend church services and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day.
Holidays are an effective tool for uniting people with common interests. It is a great way to strengthen bonds and build meaningful connections with others. Building connections boosts morale and social health and well-being.
But, you don’t have to be Irish to join in on the celebration. In fact, Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide. Celebrating a cultural holiday different from your own educates and fosters understanding between cultures. Therefore, it can also help promote diversity.
So, wear green, clink your beer mugs, and do the Irish jig because today everyone is Irish!
Fun Fact: Chicago has a long-standing tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green! Check it out: https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/13/us/chicago-green-river-trnd/index.html