- History & Culture
Is the shamrock a myth? The truth behind 5 St. Patrick’s Day symbols
From rivers dyed green to steaming plates of corned beef and cabbage, each of the symbols we associate with St. Paddy’s Day has an origin story worth reading.
Shamrocks, green beer, and leprechauns are part and parcel of any self-respecting St. Patrick’s Day celebration. But how did the traditions we associate with the March 17 holiday become associated with the feast day of a fifth-century missionary? More often than not, the story is one of cultural appropriation sprinkled with a bit of American ingenuity.
Here’s the truth behind five St. Paddy’s Day symbols.
Do you think of a diminutive green sprite with a pot of gold when you think of Ireland? You’re not alone—the leprechaun is one of the most enduring symbols associated with the nation.
But the modern idea of a leprechaun is a far cry from its origins in Irish folklore