St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint’s
religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth
century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for
over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian
season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the
morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the
consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and
feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.