St. Patricks Day Traditions

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St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated on March 17 in the U.S. for many years. It is a day to recognize Irish heritage. Here are some of the traditions associated with St. Patrick's Day.

Green or a Pinch!

It is traditional that those of Irish heritage must wear green on St. Patrick's Day. Those that don't can be pinched as punishment!

Irish Food

Irish food is popular on St. Patrick's day. Favorite dishes include corned beef and cabbage, colcannon, made with potatoes and kale; and Irish stew. Cakes and ice cream are usually green with green decorations.

  • Green cake with shamrock icing

Turn It All Green

Ireland is nicknamed the "Emerald Isle" because of its green landscape. Green is therefore the color of St. Patrick's Day. Around the country, people celebrate by coloring things green, including rivers and fountains!

  • The White House fountain colored green for St. Patrick's Day

  • The Chicago River tinted green for St. Patrick's Day


Cities across the country hold parades on St. Patrick's Day. The parades usually include Irish dancers and Irish music, often played by bagpipe bands.

  • St. Patrick's Day parade in 1915