St. Patrick’s Day. History and traditions
1. St. Patrick’s DayHistory and
2. Who was St. Patrick?St. Patrick is the patron saint of
He converted many Irish to
Christianity in the fifth century.
St. Patrick incorporated traditional
Celtic symbols, like the bonfire
and the sun, into his Christian
St. Patrick died on March 17, circa
St. Patrick’s Day is the saint’s feast
day and has evolved from a
religious holiday to a worldwide
3. St. Patrick’s Day Traditions• Christians attend church in the morning and celebrate
in the afternoon, although pubs in Ireland were closed
on March 17 by law until 1995.
• The rules of Lent are waived and revelers traditionally
eat Irish bacon and cabbage.
• The first St. Patty’s Day parade occurred when Irish
soldiers in the British army marched through New York
City on March 17, 1762.
• The Chicago River has been dyed green every year since
4. St. Patrick’s Day SymbolsThe shamrock, or
“seamroy,” symbolizes the
rebirth of spring. It was
later adopted as a symbol
of Irish nationalism.
The Celtic Cross – a sun
(from the Celts) superimposed on a cross
(from the Christians)
The leprechaun, or
“lobaircin” was a cranky,
“small-bodied fellow” of
Celtic folklore, given its
“cute” features and
popularized in the United
States by Walt Disney.
5. St. Patrick’s Day SymbolsSt. Patrick never drove
snakes from Ireland; the
story is a metaphor for
driving paganism from the
Music has always been an
important part of Irish life.
Irish music is produced with
instruments like the fiddle,
the uilleann pipes, the tin
whistle, and the bodhran.
The traditional meal of
Irish bacon and cabbage
has been modified in the
United States. Irish bacon
has been replaced with
corned beef for the
6. Irish Names• There are 34 million U.S. residents who claim
Irish ancestry, second only to German.
• Some Irish names:
– Corey – Gaelic for “ravine”
– Douglas – from the Gaelic name Dubhghlas (“dark
river or blood river”)
– Brent – derived from an English place name which
meant “hill” in Celtic
– Bryan – possibly related to the Old Celtic element
bre meaning “hill; high, noble”
– Kevin – from Old Irish coem (“kind, gentle,
handsome”) and gein (“birth”)
7. Instructions• Print out the slides and cut out on the dotted
lines. Also cut out the title on each slide.
• Arrange the facts however you would like on
your bulletin board.
• Include background information about various
Irish names of residents on your floor.
• Historical information from
www.historychannel.com; Name information
• Images collected from various sources.