St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner on March 17th! Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, but the traditions of the holiday were largely formed in the United States of America. Historically, St. Patrick’s Day, which commemorates the death of the saint, was a somber day for remembrance among the Catholic population ending with a small feast. Irish immigrants in either Boston, Massachusetts or St. Augustine, Florida (there is debate about which city was first) began to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in America, contributing to the traditions we associate with the holiday to this day. In 1762, red coats from Ireland serving in the British army marched through Manhattan wearing green before making their way to a tavern, then beginning the most recognizable association with St. Patrick’s Day.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated by wearing green, attending a parade, and drinking beer. So, how do you celebrate? You’ve got to wear green or risk getting pinched! The Shamrock was once a sign of spring before becoming a symbol of Irish nationalism as the English encroached on Irish sovereignty. Now, the shamrock is still a signifier of Ireland as well as a delicious green milkshake! Pin a shamrock to your outfit for St. Patrick’s Day! Corned Beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal, again stemming from Irish immigrants to the United States who relied on the cheaper price of corned beef. If you’ve never had it before, it is definitely worth trying this March 17th. It is an acquired taste with many who love it and many detractors.
Traditional Irish Music can be performed on fiddles, bagpipes, and tin whistles. This music has been played for centuries. Apart from these offerings, Ireland has also produced a number of great traditional ballads and shanties that you can happily find performed at many Irish pubs. Speaking of, pubs and taverns are great places to visit during St. Patrick’s Day. Beer has long been a part of the American celebration of this holiday. Drink responsibly and enjoy a nice pint at an Irish-run establishment.
Parades are so much fun during St. Patrick’s Day. Dress yourself up in green or even better, like a leprechaun and see the beautiful floats pass through most major cities. This year, there will be a St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City, Washington DC, San Diego and San Francisco! Why not create a new holiday tradition? Biking is a great way to see any city! With Unlimited Biking, you can start your celebrations right by taking a tour or renting a bike for the day! Just make sure you get your bike ride in before you start making your way to the pubs!
For more information on Unlimited Biking, visit our website here. Ready to book a tour or rental? Give us a call at 212-749-444 for 10% off your booking. Questions? Email us at [email protected]. Photo by Dominick Totino.