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Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday on the 17th of March. It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. It began as a purely Catholic holiday and became an official feast day in the early 17th century.
St Patrick was born in England but at the age of 16 was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. He was believed to have had a dream from God, where he was told escape and head to the coast. Here he caught a boat and returned to England where he went on to become a priest.
Nearly 30 years later, Patrick died on the 17th March, explaining why St Patrick’s day falls on this particular day.
Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century. St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day.
Celebrate with Food
If you’re looking for something ‘Irish’ to do on St. Patrick’s day, why not try making some traditional, typical Irish food to share with your family and friends.
Start the day with a hearty Irish Breakfast, enjoyed in particular by the farming community who enjoy “a good feed” to give them energy to get through the manual labour of the day. This is usually a fried dish consisting of egg, sausage, bacon, fried tomato, black and white pudding, potato farls, beans and mushrooms. Not everyone likes all of the above so people tend to chose as much or as little from the list as they desire. If you want to be a ‘little’ healthier, you could grill instead of frying the food.
Signature ingredients used in Ireland are potatoes and lamb or beef, green beans, onions and carrots, ‘stewed’ together.
This is a traditional Irish potato side, not an entire meal, but would be eaten as a replacement to chips. It’s easy to make and is basically boiled potato mashed together with spring onions, butter and mik. .
Colcannon was traditionally used for predicting marriage on Halloween. Charms were hidden in the Colcannon and any unmarried girl who found one would place socks with spoonfuls of Colcannon and the charms on their front door handle. The first man to enter the house was their intended.
Chop and boil white cabbage with a little lemon peel and salt until tender; blend well and set aside. Boil potatoes with a little salt until tender. Drain and mash. Chop leeks, green parts as well as white, and simmer them in just enough milk to cover, until they are soft. Combine cooked leeks and potatoes. Blend in the cabbage and heat until the whole mixture is a pale green fluff. Make a well in the center and pour in some melted butter. Season with salt and pepper and more lemon peel on top if desired to give it a fresh and appealing taste. Serve with bacon or sausages and red onion gravy :) Enjoy xx