Leprechauns. Pot of Gold. Lucky Charms. Green Beer. Shamrocks. All standard fare for Saint Patrick's Day. This is when people of Irish descent, as well as people who are simply green in the gills, take to the streets and don their greenest attire. Well, at least they should be wearing green!
If it’s not obvious by now, we love St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, we have to make sure our pub crawl schedule doesn’t coincide with this raucous holiday (although it comes close). St. Patrick's Day is one fun and popular holiday.
St. Patrick’s Day is all about embracing your Irish side and is not just limited to drinkin’, parades, pub crawls and leprechauns — though there is plenty of them. We’ll tell you some fun things you may not know about Irish culture, provide tips on how to dress up for St. Patrick's Day and where to celebrate it.
Are you interested in celebrating like the Irish do? Then you better be up on your Irish folklore and sayings. There are many, but these are some of the most interesting.
Sláinte, pronounced " slahn-cha" means health (or cheers to health) in Irish and Gaelic. It's Ireland's most famous toast! Nothing says health like enjoying your favorite pint with friends! Just remember to say Slainte!
What’s the Craic
What’s the craic? This is one of those random Irish slang questions that people might ask you when you are visiting Dublin or Ireland. What does it mean? In short, it is Irish for “How are you doing?” or “What’s going on, man?” The best aspect of this is that it doesn’t necessarily mean someone has to be of Irish descent to understand it. And sure enough, as you go out into different pubs around the world you’ll find people using the same lingo or have associated with Ireland.
Nothing signifies St. Patrick’s day more than a shamrock. The word shamrock comes from the Irish Gaelic word “seamrog” which means “little clover”. This Three-Leaf Clover is the symbol of all things Irish and a popular symbol of St. Patrick's Day. It is said that St. Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
4 Leaf Clover
It is said that finding a four-leaf clover is rarity – one Swiss study found you that the odds of finding a four-leaf clover was 1 out of 5,076. Lucky, yes indeed. Another tidbit is that the leaf on a clover means something different. The first one is hope, the second one is faith, the third one is love the fourth one is luck. One thing to note, you'll really piss off someone Irish if you call a four-leaf clover a Shamrock.
Though the actual historical origin of leprechauns is unknown, it is accepted that they have been around since at least the late Middle Ages and were first depicted in an Irish manuscript of the early 1500s. They are known as a type of fairy in Irish folklore and their name comes from the Irish word "leith-péarachán" meaning "little people". Legend has it if you catch a leprechaun you may be granted 3 wishes. But watch out, these little devils can be quite mischievous and are known to be tricksters.
Where to Celebrate in the US
New York City is home to two of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades – one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. If a parade isn’t your cup of tea, there are a number of other options including Irish pubs and Irish themed parties.
As the greenest city in America, Chicago is truly committed to its Irish heritage – especially during March. Every year, after the Chicago River is dyed green, its visual serves as a reminder of the Irish influence throughout the Windy City.
Savannah, Georgia celebrates St. Paddy’s Day as one of the largest celebrations in the world, pulling in more than 300,000 people annually. The parade itself is a humorous procession: it is clear that everyone partakes in green beer; dogs dressed as leprechauns and little four-leaf clovers everywhere you look.
There are plenty of places to celebrate here in Nashville too! There's the Luck of the Irish St. Paddy's Day Pub Crawl and the Official Nashville St Patrick's Day Bar Crawl. Although canceled this year due to Covid - there's the Music City Irish Fest which is a super-fun 3-day celebration. And, you got to visit some really fun and cool Irish pubs like McNamara's (in Hermitage) and Baileys (downtown).
What to Wear
What to Wear on St. Patrick’s Day? Not just anything, mind you, but something festive and with green on it. Irish sayings and so are anything with a shamrock or 4-leaf clover.
Need some new gear for your St.Patrick's Day Celebration? At Luv the Paw, we got ya covered. We have some fun Slainte shirts and shirts with shamrocks and four-leaf clovers. And, if you are a dog mom, dog dad, cat mom or cat dad - we have a couple t-shirts for you. And as always with our shirts, a portion of profits goes to pet rescues. Shop Now!