St. Patrick’s Day started out as a religious feast holiday celebrating the life of St. Patrick, a Christian missionary from Britain who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Today, it’s a hodgepodge of non-religious celebrations of Irish culture, folklore and superstition. Oh, and let’s not forget drinking. Lots and lots of drinking.
At the very least, you’re supposed to wear green, the national color of Ireland. If you want to get more involved, you could join one of hundreds of parades nationwide. The largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world is in New York City, with 150,000 marchers in a typical year.* Other popular activities involve dyeing things green… everything from pancakes and beer to the Chicago River and the White House fountain.