March is celebrated in two ways each year: March Madness and St. Patrick's Day. On March 17th the Irish and Irish-at-heart will observe St. Patrick's Day, which started off as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland, but now it celebrates the Irish culture through parades, dancing and special foods!

Who was Saint Patrick?

Saint Patrick lived during the fifth century and in the Catholic religion, is the patron saint of Ireland. He was a noble man by birth but was kidnapped from England by pirates at the age of sixteen and was brought to Ireland to work as a slave. About seventeen long years later, he escaped his pagan captors and returned to his homeland. But upon his return home, he discovered that his mission in life was to convert the people who held him prisoner to his faith. As a missionary, Saint Patrick has been credited with the bringing of Christianity to the people of Ireland. In the centuries following his death, the stories that surrounded his life became ingrained in the Irish culture.

What are some symbols of Ireland?

The simple answer is anything green! Saint Patrick was known to have taught the people of Ireland about the concept of the Trinity by using a three-leaf clover or a shamrock. The first written reference to the shamrock was dated back to 1571 and has become a symbol of Ireland. So, it is common when celebrating St. Patrick's Day to see shamrocks in the decorations and design.

Another symbol of Ireland is the leprechaun. In Irish folklore, the leprechaun is an Irish shoemaking fairy that can cause mischief and mayhem in people's lives. Today, the leprechaun is envisioned as a little, rosy-checked man dressed in a green suit guarding a pot of gold located at the end of a rainbow. According to legend, if a person is lucky enough to find a leprechaun and capture him, they can trade his freedom for the golden treasure that he guards...but you'd have to be extremely lucky for that to happen.

How do people celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

There are more than 100 different parades held across the United States on St. Patrick's Day. Although, New York City and Boston have the largest celebrations. The parade in New York City began in the 1800s when several smaller celebrations combined under the leadership of the New York Irish Aid officials. Today, this parade is the world's oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States with over 150,000 participants and nearly three million people line the streets of the one and a half mile parade route to watch the parade.

While parades are a popular feature of St. Patrick's Day, Chicago celebrates a bit differently. For over fifty years, the Chicago River turns green to celebrate the Irish holiday. On average, it takes about forty pounds of dye to turn the river the perfect shade of green. The green water lasts for about five hours and does not harm any aquatic life that may live in the river.

However, the most popular way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day is through a party.

With Guinness, green colored food and surrounded by friends, any St. Patrick's Day party can be a huge success. Weaver Nuts Sweets & Snacks can supply you with your green, Irish themed party needs.

If you have the knack at making chocolate pops, the green chocolate wafers will be the perfect way to coat any design you have in mind. Plus, you cannot go wrong with having leprechaun gold in the form of chocolate coins as part of your decor. If you aren't in the mood to bake or have limited time to get ready for the party, Weaver Nut Sweets & Snacks has St. Patrick's Day chocolate flavored lollipops that you can bring to the party!

From sanding sugar to Irish potato candy, Weaver Nut Sweets & Snacks can help you celebrate the Irish culture and St. Patrick's Day with the help of their online candy store! You can shop online for all of your party needs and have the goodies delivered to your home. For more St. Patrick's Day inspiration, click here

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