Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds in the United States, Canada (Toronto held it's St. Patrick's Day parade LAST Saturday for some bizarre reason) and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore and Russia.
In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland ‘s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows.
There is an interesting tradition in Chicago where the Chicago River is dyed green for the day.
For some odd reason Savannah, Georgia (not a city I'd equate with the irish) has one of the largest celebrations in the world. Attracting roughly 400,000 Irish and honorary Irish visitors and local celebrators each year, Savannah's St. Patrick's Day traditions are likened by some observers and participants to a Mardi Gras celebration, the spirited St. Patrick's Day festivities in Savannah go on for several days.
It must be quite the party - when we were there shortly after St. Patrick's Day a few years ago we saw this painted on a building:
Paul and I are having our annual St. Patrick's Day get together tonight. Here's our menu:
The Green Lantern (a green cocktail made with a parsley infusion)
Cheese and Crackers
Irish Cheddar and Stout Fondue
Cider and Cheddar Soup
Glazed Corned Beef
Golden Colcannon Pie
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Irish Soda Bread
Key Lime Cheesecake
Have a great day everyone!