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Hyatt Union Square New York
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St. Patrick's Day History & Festive NYC Traditions

St. Patrick's Day History & Festive NYC Traditions

NYC Irish Heritage & St. Patrick's Day History

The time to celebrate all things Irish is upon us. While they may take center stage here in the States, there's much more than green beer and whiskey at the heart of St. Patrick's Day. A public holiday in Ireland, March 17th marks the death of their most beloved patron saint with the Feast of Saint Patrick. The festive date also commemorates the arrival of Christianity to the island nation, as well as their unique cultural heritage, with a daylong reprieve from the Lenten restrictions on alcohol that allows even the devout to enjoy the spirits their country made famous. When considering St. Patrick's Day history, treasured traditions like this simply cannot be ignored…


Who was Saint Patrick?

As a man, Saint Patrick lived from AD 385-461. Born in Roman Britain to a deacon father, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders at sixteen. During the next six years he found his Christian faith as a shepherd, and escaped for home after a vision from God. Later, he returned to Ireland to convert the "pagans," evangelizing with the help of 3-leaf clovers to explain the Holy Trinity.


St. Patrick's Day in NYC

The NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade has been a citywide tradition since 1792, making it the oldest and largest precession to celebrate Irish faith in the world. It kicks off at 11am on March 17th, up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 79th Street. Great Irish bars to enjoy before and after include:

  • McSorely's Old Ale House (15 E. 17th Street) - Established in 1854, this is the epitome of New York City Irish bars.
  • Molly's Pub & Shebeen (287 Third Avenue) - Irish Lamb Stew and a pint of Guinness make for proper St. Patty's nosh at this rustic watering hole.