St Patrick’s Day is on 17th March as this is the date of St Patrick’s death in 461AD.
It was originally as religious festival to celebrate the fact that St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland.
St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland but was born in Roman Britain in 385AD
As a boy St Patrick had been captured and taken to Ireland where he spent six years in slavery herding sheep before he escaped back to Britain. He later returned to the country to preach Christianity.
Today the traditions have come a long way from the religious feat day celebrated in Roman times.
Green is the traditional colour as it is the colour of the shamrock which it is said St Patrick used as a symbol of the holy trinity. In Ireland they also wear blue as this was St Patrick’s colour.
On St Patrick’s Day green beer is served throughout the US which consists of a couple of drops of green food coloring and a pint of beer. Interestingly the Chicago river and the Charles river in Boston are both dyed green for the day!
Traditional food eaten on St Patrick’s Day is usually Irish stew. This is a filling, flavourful dish made with the cheapest, most readily-available ingredients.
As sheep are the main livestock in Ireland it is traditionally made with lamb or mutton with potatoes, onions and parley.
Root vegetables were most common in Ireland so these were often added to the stew for flavour and to thicken it.