St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD, and since then the Irish celebratory spirit has been spreading continually worldwide. Originally a religious festival, the day has secularized and now is a way to recognize the Irish contribution to countries all over the world. The holiday welcomes Irish and non-Irish celebrants alike.
Serving a home-cooked Irish meal
Another tradition is to serve what is considered a traditional Irish meal: corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, and soda biscuits. In general, the meal can be kept healthy in spite of the salt and fat inherent in the corned beef.
The main thing to keep in mind is to buy the leanest cut of the corned beef that you can find, then pour off the liquid after stewing the meat and vegetables together. Some people cook the vegetables separately to avoid exposing them to the meat fat. Keep the meat and potatoes serving minimal and fill up on the cabbage. You might enjoy adding carrots and other vegetables, in addition to the potatoes and cabbage, to the Dutch oven while the meal is cooking.
Remember your commitment to your own health
Bars serve green beer and it’s a lot of fun to join in, but limiting yourself to one or two, at the most, is probably a good idea. Green bagels are also a comparatively recent innovation, and while there is certainly nothing unhealthy about a bagel for most people, keep in mind that bagels are calorie dense. The spreads that usually accompany a bagel offer landmines to your diet too, so go for the low- or nonfat versions.
There are unexpected places where St. Patrick’s Day is recognized
Unlikely places such as Seoul, South Korea, Labrador and Newfoundland celebrate the holiday. Originally a religious celebration, the day has moved into the secular realm with the saying, “Everyone’s Irish on March 17th.” Parades take place in many cities around the globe, and “the wearin’ of the green" is evident everywhere. Enjoy the festivities, but use common sense.
Where does the Shamrock come in?
Tradition holds that St. Patrick used the three-lobed Shamrock to teach the Irish natives about the Holy Trinity; the cloverleaf became another symbol in recognition of the holiday for Irish and non-Irish alike. Conversely, some scholars believe the Shamrock already held symbolic significance for the pre-Christian Irish people.
Keep it wholesome and happy
The most important thing to remember is that it’s a celebration in honor of a tradition that has come down to us from more than 1,500 years ago. Enjoy the moment and the company of those you’re sharing the day with.
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