Vegan St. Patricks Day 101
Learn about St. Pattys Day parades, vegan food and drinks, and the man who started it all.
The explosion of green, friendly strangers, and rancorous parties every March 17th makes it seem like the whole world has gone Irish. But believe it or not, St. Patrick’s Day was once a quiet religious holiday honoring the patron saint of Ireland. How it became a daylong festival of food, parades, and beer is a different story. Read on to found out more about the man, the day, and the vegan way you too can join the revelry.
The story of St. Patrick is one still shrouded in mystery. He was born in Britain near the end of the 4th century, and was kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish raiders. During his time of captivity he turned to Christianity, and six years later, Patrick escaped his captors and walked 200 miles to the Irish coast. Soon after, Patrick became a priest and went back to Ireland. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 AD.
Parades and Parties
St. Patrick’s Day has been a religious holiday for centuries. Traditionally, the Irish would go to church in the mornings and celebrate with a feast in the afternoon. Since the day falls during the Christian season of Lent, a time when meat was traditionally prohibited, families would be allowed to eat meat during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations only. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade actually took place in the United States; Irish soldiers fighting for the British during colonial times marched through the streets of New York City on March 17, 1762. Today, the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York is the largest in the US, with more than 150,000 participants and nearly 3 million spectators.
A Brew (or Two) for You
Over shamrocks, leprechauns, and Irish flags, perhaps no one thing is more ubiquitous to St. Patrick’s Day than beer. Interestingly, Irish law once mandated that all pubs be closed for the holiday; it wasn’t until the 1970s that these laws were lifted. Guinness, the iconic Irish brew, is not vegan-friendly, but luckily many brewers have crafted cruelty-free versions: Wells & Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and Victory Brewery’s Donnybrook Stout are two examples. Looking for more St. Patty’s Day pints? Check out our Vegan Beer Guide. And don’t forget the Vegan Bailey’s for your Irish Coffee!
The traditional Irish fare on March 17 was bacon and cabbage. Corned beef, the better known choice for St. Patrick’s Day noshing, only became a part of the plate in the beginning of the 1900s, when Irish immigrants living in New York City made the substitution to save money. Luckily, vegans can enjoy the same fare without the guilt: whip up Corned “Beef” and Cabbage and throw in some Tempeh Bacon for a St. Patrick’s Day feast, or cook some Irish Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Boxty, Colcannon, or Irish Soda Bread for an authentic Irish spread.
No matter how you decide to spend this year’s St. Patrick’s Day, revel in the holiday’s lively and inclusive spirit. On March 17, everybody’s Irish. And as they say, “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.”
6 Survival Tips for Vegans at Holiday Parties
Tis the season for holiday get-togethers, festive lights, and reminding ourselves to keep our cool.
Read More »
9 Vegan Pie Hacks for 3 Classic Holiday Pies
Rethink how amazing your traditional pies can be with these tempting toppers that offer a little more pie-zazz.
Read More »
The Importance of Varying Your Vegan Diet While Training
Read on for five reasons to switch up your daily meals to keep temptation at bay.
Read More »
VegNews Vegan Wedding Application 2017
Want to be one of the featured wedding couples in our 2017 Vegan Wedding Feature? Here's your opportunity!
Read More »
VegNews Holiday Gift Guide 2016
Shop vegan businesses this holiday season while wowing friends and family.
Read More »
- 10 Vegan Things I Want for Christmas
- Four Things to Do After Thanksgiving That Don't Involve Being Trampled at Target
- 9 Things For Which Were Thankful
- 5 Things You Might Not Know about Veganism (Even if Youre Vegan)
- Dear Taco Bell...
- How to Fit in Daily Workouts with a Full-Time Job
- Top 6 Drugstore Vegan Body Washes
- The 2016 Veggie Awards
- How to Snack When Youre a Vegan Athlete
- 10 Boutiques Where Youll Find Vegan Velvet for Fall
- 12 Vegan Halloween Treats on Etsy
- 10 #VegansOfInstagram We Completely Adore
- How to Vote for the Animals in the 2016 Election
- 10 Scary Halloween Costumes Only Vegans Will Understand
- 10 Best Vegan Pumpkin Finds at Trader Joes
- How to Celebrate Oktoberfest, Vegan Style
- The 10 Best Vegan Boots for Every Occasion
- Meatless Mondays at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch
- 10 Vegan Reasons We're Dreaming of Fall
- Two Sisters and Their Vegan Weddings