Seeing Green

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday when people wear green and often decorate with rainbows, pots of gold, and leprechauns. It’s an Irish holiday that has transitioned to the United States. However, Irish businesses and banks close for the day much like businesses in the United States would close for Christmas or the 4th of July. One of the first celebrations in the United States was held in Boston in 1737.

Green wasn’t always the color associated with the holiday. The original color was blue, but Ireland is often called The Emerald Island. This started the shift from blue to green being used as the primary color. One of the most consumed beverages on this day is beer. Many cities have parades and celebrations featuring beer and treats that pair well with beer, such as pretzels. Another beverage served by many restaurants is a shamrock shake. This is a milkshake that is dyed green and that often has mint flavoring. You’ll also see an abundance of four-leaf clovers on St. Patrick’s Day as this is the flower of Ireland and is believed to bring good luck. Chicago gets involved in celebrating the holiday by putting green dye in the city’s river, a tradition that started in 1962.