St Patricks Day History for Kids and Curious Adults

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St Patricks Day history for kids doesn’t have to be all about sliding down rainbows and finding buckets of gold.  I’ve always enjoyed teaching my children the real history behind holidays and events.  

St Patricks Day History for Kids and Curious Adults

 

St Patricks Day History for Kids

While it’s nice to include some of the popular stories and legends as well, I’d rather they knew the facts about the holiday first.  This St Patricks Day history for kids post is a little bit of both things.

What is the history behind St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland named St. Patrick. Patrick wasn’t born Irish. He was brought to Ireland as a slave after he was kidnapped.  He escaped back to Britain to be with his family. While there, a voice told him to go back to Ireland.  He was ordained as a priest and spent the rest of his life working to bring Christianity to Ireland.

a leprechaun with gold

Some people claim that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. However, science has proven that there never were any snakes in Ireland because of the cold climate. It is thought that the word snakes in this legend actually represent driving out the pagan ways when he introduced Christianity.

Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for kids?

St. Patrick’s Day is the national holiday of Ireland and we celebrate it each year on March 17 because this is the day he is rumored to have died. In the United States, many people of Irish descent celebrate this holiday because it plays an important part of their cultural history.

St. Patrick's Day History for Kids

What brings you good luck on St. Patrick’s Day?

People search for four-leaf clovers which are very rare.  Finding one is supposed to be very lucky. A shamrock is actually a three-leaf clover-like plant. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). I’ve never actually found one but I still search for them.

What is the color of St. Patrick’s Day?

Traditionally, the color of St. Patrick’s Day is green.  Ireland is known for its green shades of grass and the shamrock is green as well. However, historians say that St. Patrick’s color was actually a light blue and it can be seen in their flag.

St Patricks Day History for Kids and Curious Adults

What is the legend behind St. Patrick’s Day history for kids?

Irish legend says that there is a small Irish fairy called the leprechaun.  He wears pointed shoes, a hat, and a leather apron.  According to the legend, he’s very unfriendly and lives alone in the forest guarding his pots of gold.  The story says that if you find a leprechaun, he will have to tell you where his gold is hidden. If you look away for even one second, the leprechaun will disappear along with all his gold.

Legend has it that if you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, the leprechaun cannot see you. If you don’t wear green, he can see you and will give you a pinch. That’s why we pinch people who do not wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish Dublin Coddle Recipe

What types of Irish food should we eat?

Traditionally people eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day although we enjoy it all year. You can also enjoy Irish Oatcakes, Or, you might want to try a Dublin Coddle.

Now that you know the facts and legends of St. Patrick’s Day, you can choose what you share in this St Patricks Day history for kids list.   Here are some fun resources to enjoy with your child when you discuss St. Patrick’s Day. 

three leaf clovers growing near rock

More holiday fun

You might want to read these for more holiday fun.

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40 thoughts on “St Patricks Day History for Kids and Curious Adults”

  1. I love Corn beef and cabbage, its one of my favorite foods and I am not irish! I would love to visit Ireland, its on my bucket list. Maria
    Reply
  2. These are some of the same facts I am teaching my daughter next month for out St. Patrick's Day lasson plan! So cool learning the history of holidays. 
    Reply

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