Every March 17, the United States becomes an emerald country for a day. Americans wear green clothes and quaff green beer. Green milkshakes, bagels, and grits appear on menus. In a leprechaun-worthy shenanigans, Chicago even dyes its river green.
Revelers from coast to coast celebrate all things Irish by hoisting pints of Guinness and cheering bagpipers, step dancers, and marching bands parading through city streets.
These familiar annual traditions weren’t imported from Ireland, however. They were made in America. The meal that Americans think is Irish was really made of other ingredients. Funny thing, the Irish are now adopting St. Patrick’s Day traditions from Irish America such as corned beef and cabbage.
, while originally a feast day for the patron saint who brought Christianity to Ireland, has evolved into a secular celebration of Irish heritage. As its reach has widened, many are familiar with the nickname "St. Paddy's Day," where "Paddy" is the shortened form of Patrick, which itself comes from . While the holiday is sometimes spelled "St. Patty's Day," some find this to be offensive as "Patty" is a shortened form of the female name "Patricia."
However you want to celebrate, we all can be a little Irish on St. Patrick's Day.