People have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day since the 1600s, when the Feast of Saint Patrick became an official Christian feast day. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and the day of the feast – March 17 – is the traditional date of his death.
Since Saint Patrick’s feast day was first recognized, nearly 10 million people have emigrated from Ireland to other countries around the world as part of the Irish diaspora. About half of them settled in America. And it is to these Irish descendants that we owe the modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
When we think of St. Paddy these days, we often think of shamrocks, parades and the color green. We can thank Irish immigrants for these things, because they’re the ones who made the feast day of Saint Patrick an excuse to celebrate their heritage and turned it into a festival of all things Irish.
Back home in Ireland they took notice of the day’s popularity and expanded it beyond a time to drink green beer, and sport “Kiss Me I’m Irish” buttons into something more significant. Now St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in Ireland as the cornerstone of Irish Language Week. Around the world, landmarks are lit up with green lights as part of the Global Greening Initiative to bring attention to and action against climate change.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Feast of Saint Patrick is not still an international party day.
Although religious “feast days” aren’t what we usually think of as feasts – no big meals involved – there’s no reason why we can’t celebrate this one with some good food. In fact, it has a special reason to be associated with food: St. Patrick’s Day falls within the fasting time of lent, and one of the reasons people loved it so much was because the restrictions against eating and drinking alcohol were traditionally lifted for the celebration.
Join us at Instant Pot as we go green in the old school way and celebrate all things Irish for St. Patrick’s Day. Come back to the blog on Friday for our Top Ten St. Patrick’s Day-inspired recipes for your Instant Pot.
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