Saint Patrick’s Day, the celebration of Ireland

Fête irlandaise Saint-Patrick

There are days celebrated annually with a heartfelt touch. There are nights spent partying with friends by heading to one’s base, the nearest O’Sullivans Irish Pub !

March 17th is a very symbolic day for Irish people around the world. Beer flows in the pubs, people sing, dance, parade in the streets, wear green and shamrocks.

But… What is Saint Patrick’s Day?

What do we celebrate on Saint Patrick’s Day?

The Legend of Saint Patrick

A public holiday in Ireland since 1903, it commemorates the anniversary of the death of Saint Patrick, the founder of Irish Christianity in the 5th century.

His mythical story is filled with adventure:
As a teenager, Maewyn Succat (his name) is kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave to an Irish druid.
Becoming a shepherd, he encounters God in a dream.
He escapes and follows religious teaching in Normandy.
The Pope is said to have ordered him toevangelize Ireland.
To explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish kings, he uses a “shamrock“: each leaf representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Legend also has it that thanks to him, Ireland was rid of its “snakes”… Snakes in Ireland?!
Ireland was then a Celtic land with pagan beliefs… So goodbye to the “serpent” druids. The island becomes Christian.

Why is green the color of Saint Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick died in spring, a time of nature’s renewal. It’s celebrated with songs and dances: the trees turn green, like… the shamrock, which symbolizes spring. Green gives its color to the island, and to its fervent Catholics. The Irish flag also includes a green stripe, representing the Catholics, and the orange stripe the Protestants. The white unites them to show peace between the two communities.
Now, you know why they put a drop of green dye in your beer foam that day, or even why rivers are colored green, like in Chicago! And also why people wear shamrock sprigs in their lapels.
And wait! We’re not done with green yet.

The leprechaun, the quintessential sprite of the celebration

If we dress in green on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s also for another reason: we’ve told you that Ireland is rich in Celtic traditions. Among these, there’s the one about the mischievous elf. Wearing green on that day is supposed to make us invisible to the leprechaun, a red-haired elf himself dressed in green, who cannot resist the pleasure of pinching humans when he sees one!
To think that St. Patrick is supposed to have rid Ireland of this “evil” creature! Not vengeful but rather playful since it joins the Irish in celebration every March 17th!

How is Saint Patrick’s Day celebrated around the world?

For centuries, there was no question of going for a drink at the pub: they were closed on Saint Patrick’s Day! This changed in the 1970s.

Parades on March 17th, everywhere the Irish have emigrated.
The Irish emigrants are attached to their faith and traditions. Thus, in the 18th century in America, they organize the first parades. Ten years after its independence, Ireland will also adopt this way of celebrating its patron saint.

From an ancient religious holiday to a big celebration in general!
The celebration also becomes commercial. Starting in the 1990s, the Irish government transforms the holiday into a 5-day festival to promote Irish culture. The Irish celebrate their roots, and lovers of Ireland help them well…

Saint Patrick’s Day has become one of the most well-known and popular celebrations, and what better place to celebrate than our Irish pubs!
Warmth, friendship, laughter, simplicity, brotherhood, pride in being Irish, singing, dancing, and traditional music played on the uilleann pipes. Not to forget… the beer, of course!

Saint Patrick’s Day at O’Sullivans !

Every year, we honor this tradition by organizing events over one or several days!
The celebration, adorned in Irish colors, often starts with live traditional songs and dances and continues late into the night, sometimes over an entire week! It’s when we are part of these crowds, during this significant celebration in our lives, that we understand the role we play in this tradition. By passing on this love for traditions, we are there to experience with you these events that mark and punctuate our lives, our meetings, our joys, and our friendships!
Because life is a celebration, and because the celebration must live on, we wish ourselves an excellent Saint Patrick’s Day!