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St. Patrick's Day in the United States

St Patrick's Day, on March 17, remembers one of Ireland’s patron saints, St Patrick. It largely celebrates Irish-American culture in the United States.

Is St. Patrick's Day a Public Holiday?

Although St. Patrick's Day is not a public holiday, businesses and schools may be closed because it falls on the same date as Evacuation Day in 2020, which is a public holiday in Massachusetts.

The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

©bigstockphoto.com/Stu99

Celebrate St Patrick's Day

Celebrations concentrate on Irish themed parties, drinks and food. Many people get into the spirit by dressing in green clothing and eating green colored food. Irish clubs and pubs often hold parties or have special deals. Large street parades mark St Patrick's Day in places like:

  • Savannah
  • Chicago
  • Boston
  • Houston
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Toronto
  • New York
  • New Orleans
  • Seattle

Water is dyed green in public places in some towns. The most notable body of water that was dyed green was the Chicago River in 2005.

What's Open or Closed?

St Patrick's Day is not a federal holiday in the United States. Schools, businesses and organizations are open as usual. Public transport systems run on their regular schedules. There may be some local disruption to traffic due to St Patrick's Day parades. This is particularly true in cities with a large Irish-American population, including New York, New Orleans and Seattle. The parades may be on or around March 17, so it is a good idea to check local sources for the exact location, date and time.

About St Patrick's Day

St Patrick is one of Ireland's patron saints and many Americans with Irish ancestry remember him on March 17. Patrick's Day is fixed on March 17, but may occasionally be moved by Catholic Church authorities. This happened in 1940, so that the celebrations would not fall on Palm Sunday, and in 2008 to avoid Holy Monday, the last Monday before Easter Sunday.

Symbols

The most common St Patrick's Day symbol is the shamrock. The shamrock is the leaf of the clover plant and a symbol of the Holy Trinity. Other symbols include:

  • Almost anything green.
  • The green, orange and white flag of the Republic of Ireland.
  • Brands of beer associated with Irish culture.

Religious symbols include snakes and serpents. Other symbols seen on St Patrick’s Day include the harp, which was used in Ireland for centuries, as well as the leprechaun and a pot of gold that it hides.

About St. Patrick's Day in other countries

Read more about St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015TueMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2016ThuMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2017FriMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2018SatMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2019SunMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2020TueMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2021WedMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2022ThuMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2023FriMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2024SunMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian
2025MonMar 17St. Patrick's DayObservance, Christian

We diligently research and continuously update our holiday dates and information. If you find a mistake, please let us know.

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