Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green. Events & Adventures San Francisco is celebrating the entire week with fun filled events for everyone to participate in. You don’t need to be Irish to get together and enjoy some corned beef and cabbage, just make sure you wear green so you don’t get pinched.
This week started with The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown San Francisco, complete with leprechauns, bagpipes and kilts. The performers marched down Market Street to celebrate and showcased the Irish community, Irish culture and character in all its forms. Then the real fun began when the Irish Bank, a local pub in San Francisco shut down the alley way for a giant block party with live music and of course green beer. Events & Adventures members kept the party going into the weekend; we all dressed up in green and got to try beer from over 30 local breweries including Anchor Steam, 21st Amendment, Lost Coast and many more. Members got to try beer, learn to dance to Irish jigs and listening to reels, hornpipes and polkas all at the Fairfax Brew Fest.
St. Patrick’s Day is a day most of us look forward to, and in the spirit of the holiday here are some traditions that go along with it—some are more familiar than others.
- Drinking – Since many Irish-Americans are Catholics, some may be required give up alcohol for Lent. However, they are allowed to break this fast during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. This is one reason why the day is so heavily associated with drinking.
- Dyeing water or beer green – Chicago dyes its river green for St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and many bars serve green beer. The White House also dyes the water in its fountain green. Lots of cities incorporate green in public displays in different ways. For example in Seattle, all the floats of the St. Patrick’s Day parade are painted green and observers are supposed to wear green or else risk being pinched.
- Pea planting – In the Northeast, many celebrate by planting peas. The color of the plants and the fact that this time of year makes for ideal growing conditions make it a perfect tradition for St. Patrick’s Day.
To Events & Adventures members new and old, find that lucky shamrock and follow the leprechaun to the end of the rainbow where you might find your pot of gold, or even better meet some new lads and lasses to celebrate with!