St. Patrick's Day Traditions

For as long as I can remember, my family has always done something for St. Patrick’s Day. My mom is one of those people who loves to celebrate every holiday. This means decorating for each holiday, having themed music, color coordinated outfits, and themed food.

Before every holiday we would make decorations to put all around the house. For St. Patrick’s Day that meant cutting paper shamrocks, which really just looked like green blobs; drawing rainbows; making leprechaun masks.

When I was little, my mom would dye our food green for St. Patrick's Day. As I got older we started having traditional Irish dinners such as corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes and pork, and soda bread. I can remember always wearing green to school on St. Patrick ’s Day because I didn’t want to get pinched. However, I also made sure to wear orange. At some point in my youth my grandpa drilled it in my head that we came from the Orange Irish and that was something we needed to be proud of.

Once I got to college and was on my own I made sure to still participate in the traditions my mother had instilled in me. I got window clings to put on my mirror and windows. I wore something green and something orange. I ate something green. I remembered my youth.

I talked to my mom on the phone at least once a day throughout all four of my college years. On St. Patrick’s Day the conversation usually went as follows:

“Did you have corned beef and cabbage for dinner?”
“No mom, they don’t serve that in the dining halls.”
“Well you ate something that was green, RIGHT?”
“Of course I did.” (This may or may not have been true)


Even though my brother and I are now grown and out of the house my mother still makes sure to keep up with her traditions. She posts pictures of the crafts she’s done with her grandchildren. She writes about how she made a traditional Irish dinner for everyone to enjoy, and she posts pictures of her green outfit.

While every holiday garners the same attention from my mother, St. Patrick’s Day will always be my favorite and have the most memories attached to it. Maybe it’s because my family has a strong Irish background. Maybe it’s because I “look” Irish with my ginger hair. Maybe it’s because the color green looks great on me. For whatever reason, I still participate in all of the traditions my mother instilled in me for the last 23 years...and I’m darn proud of it!

Do you have any exciting St. Patrick's Day family traditions? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Authored by: Victoria Cartland
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach

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