St. Patrick’s Day (Saturday March 17th) is a global celebration of Irish culture which luckily this year falls on a Saturday, so there will be plenty of St. Patrick Day celebrations.
The day is held to remember St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints who spread Christianity in the fifth century. Believe it or not, the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration was not held in Ireland, but it began in New York City in 1762, when the number of Irish immigrants in the U.S. increased dramatically.
While popular traditions are to drink green beer (laced with a little green food colouring) or to enjoy Irish foods like lamb stew, the most known tradition is wearing the colour green. Apparently wearing green is thought to make you invisible to mischievous leprechauns and fairies that might just pinch you if you choose not to wear green! Others wear green to proudly pay tribute to their Irish roots.
Perhaps the most famous celebration in North America happens in Chicago when the city hosts its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and dyes the Chicago River green between Columbus and Wacker Drives. There’s plenty of green to be seen in the parade which features Irish step dancers, marching bags and bagpipers, Irish flags, colourful floats and more. The tradition of dyeing the river dates back many generations and each year attracts a crowd of about 400,000 revellers. The green dye last about five hours—just long enough for people to enjoy the river festivities, see the parade and head to their favourite Irish pub!
St. Patrick Day house parties are also an annual tradition. Here are some fun food ideas to help you celebrate on March 17th—Luck of the Irish to you!
- Top of the Day Lime Rickey –Mix together 2 oz. of freshly squeezed lime juice, 6 oz. Club soda in a cocktail shaker over crushed ice. Serve with a slice of fresh lime. For a non-alcoholic version, instead of the gin add 2 oz of lime soda. Serve with a tray of celery sticks filled with Herbs and Chives TOFUTTI Better Than Cream Cheese
- Patrick’s Day Spinach Dip; purchase a round loaf of Pumpernickel bread. Cut off the lid and hollow out the inside of the loaf, leaving the sides and bottom intact. In a large bowl, beat together two containers of SOUR SUPREME® with two containers of Herbs & Chives
TOFUTTI Better Than Cream Cheese. Add one cup of cooked, finely chopped spinach along with 1 tsp minced garlic and ½ tsp salt. Beat again until spinach is finely mixed into dip. Fill the bread shell with the dip and place on a large platter. Surround the loaf with pieces of the bread (from the loaf); along with green pepper slices and celery sticks and watch the whole thing disappear quicker than a Leprechaun!