St. Patrick's Day Activities
Dia duit (pronounced Dee-a Gwit), CMBC members! That's the Irish greeting for "hello!" St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner (March 17), and there are lots of fun activities you can do to celebrate! Let's follow the rainbow and discover more about this holiday.
Who's St. Patrick?
St. Patrick is Ireland's patron saint. A patron saint is "the protecting or guiding saint of a person or place" (Oxford Languages). He was a missionary who spread Christianity throughout Ireland. His life and legacy are celebrated every year on March 17 because it is believed that he died on March 17, 460 or 461 A.D.
Was St. Patrick Irish?
Nope! St. Patrick was a Roman citizen born and raised in Britain in the late fourth century. He was kidnapped by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland when he was 16 years old. He escaped six years later and returned to Britain. There, he went through religious training to become a bishop. He later returned to Ireland to teach the Irish people about Christianity.
Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
The Catholic Church established an official day of feasting in honor of St. Patrick in 1631, but celebrations had already been underway for centuries in Ireland before spreading to North America. The first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade in North America was held on March 17, 1601, by Irish vicar Ricardo Artur of the Spanish colony that was located in what is now modern-day St. Augustine, Florida.
Over the following centuries, more celebrations took place throughout the U.S. to honor St. Patrick and the Irish immigrants who came to America. Today St. Patrick’s Day is a global holiday with parades in Canada, Japan, Norway, and New Zealand!
St. Patrick's Day Activities
Now that you know more about the history of St. Patrick's Day, it's time to celebrate! Below are a few activities to get you started.
Make a Shamrock
Legend has it that St. Patrick used a shamrock to teach people about the Christian Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) because the plant has three leaves. Today, many people wear a real shamrock or a shamrock-shaped pin on their clothes as a St. Patrick's Day tradition.
You can make your shamrock artwork following the instructions below!
1 bell pepper (Look for one with three "bumps" on the bottom.)
A paper plate
"Gold" flakes (This can be found in craft stores.)
Black foam pots (This can be found in craft stores, but you can always make your own by cutting the shape out of black construction paper.)
Crayons, colored pencils, or markers
1. Ask an adult to cut the bell pepper width-wise, starting at the bottom, to make a ring. You'll use this bell pepper ring as a stamp.
2. Pour green paint onto a paper plate. Lay the bell pepper ring on top of the paint.
3. Stamp the bell pepper ring onto your paper. Press down on all sides of the bell pepper to make sure the paint sticks to the paper.
4. Lift the bell pepper, and voila—you have a shamrock! Dip your paintbrush in the paint and draw a stem at the bottom of the shamrock.
5. Apply glue to the back of the black pot, and then stick the pot to your construction paper. Next, apply glue to the construction paper above the pot. Place the gold flakes into the glue and press down to make sure it sticks.
6. Draw a rainbow coming out of the pot of gold.
Create a Rainbow Rainstorm
There are a lot of rainbows in Ireland because there's lots of rain and sunshine — both things needed to make rainbows! In Ireland, these rainbows symbolize blessings. Create your very own rainbow rainstorm using the instructions below.
5 plastic cups
Yellow, blue, red, and green food coloring
1. Fill each of the cups halfway with water.
2. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to one cup. In the second cup, add a few drops of green food coloring. Add a few drops of blue food coloring to the third cup. Squeeze a few drops of red food coloring into the fourth cup. Stir. Don't add food coloring to the fifth cup (you'll use this cup for Step 3).
3. Shake the can of shaving cream and squirt the foam on top of the water in the fifth cup.
4. Fill the pipette with colored water from one of your cups. Drop the water in the pipette on top of the shaving cream "cloud," and watch as the color slowly drips down through the "cloud" into the water underneath.
5. Repeat Step 4 with different colors until your rainbow is complete!