In case you (like I, not being Catholic) weren’t exactly sure why we drink beer and eat corned beef and cabbage today, according to history.com:
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
Occasionally St. Patrick’s Day celebration is affected when 17 March falls during Holy Week. This happened apparently in 1940 when Saint Patrick’s Day was observed on 3 April in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008, on 15 March. But don’t worry, we have some time now- Saint Patrick’s Day will not fall within Holy Week again until 2160. Cheers! Enjoy these lovely pictures from Ireland I compiled in celebration!
All images from sxc.hu