Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day During the Pandemic


Olivia Dodd

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated all around the world, but how was the holiday celebrated during a worldwide pandemic? 

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that celebrates Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. He is said to have brought Christianity to Ireland and explained the Holy Trinity using the leaves of a shamrock (Irish clover). 

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many ways around the world. Many parades happen in Dublin, New York, Chicago, and more. They celebrate the Irish and their traditions with flags, dances, and music. Chicago even has an annual green dying of the river. So how was St. Patrick’s Day celebrated during a pandemic? 

Many traditional activities such as parades, had to be canceled or postponed. Parades in Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia were canceled, as well as all parades in Ireland. The largest St. Patrick’s Day parade that takes place in New York City was postponed, marking the first time in more than 250 years that the celebration would be delayed. 

Chicago had also postponed the annual green dying of the river. With all of the major celebrations canceled, people found other ways they could celebrate in the safety of their homes. Many people had virtual parties, so that the celebration could go on while remaining safe. 

Houses and businesses put up shamrocks in their windows to decorate so people could see as they passed by. Although many traditions had to be set aside, some traditions were able to continue, like lighting up some of the landmarks green. New York’s Empire State Building, Cristo Rei statue in Portugal, and Niagara falls all took part in this. 

Additionally virtual performances, parades, and activities also took place. For example, virtual Irish cooking classes occurred, as well as many virtual events in places around the world, such as London, Birmingham, New York, etc. Waunakee also found ways to celebrate! 

For example, the Waunakee Senior Center had reservations to pick up St. Patrick’s Day lunches, Trinity Irish Dancers performed safely virtually, and Waunakee elementary school teachers dressed up in Irish outfits. Although there have been many setbacks due to the worldwide pandemic, the world still found ways to celebrate safely and happily.