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.”
How to Vote for the Animals in the 2016 Election
This election season, you can vote on factory farming, wildlife trafficking, and other animal protection issues.
Read More »
10 Scary Halloween Costumes Only Vegans Will Understand
Be the life (or death) of any Halloween party with costume ideas that'll scare any vegan.
Read More »
10 Best Vegan Pumpkin Finds at Trader Joes
Jumpstart the holiday season with pumpkin-ized chips, cookies, and more from Trader Joes.
Read More »
How to Celebrate Oktoberfest, Vegan Style
Beers, bars, brats, and Berlin are on the menu of our perfect Oktoberfest celebration.
Read More »
The 10 Best Vegan Boots for Every Occasion
Go from ranchhand to urban cowboy with these cruelty-free boots that are comfortable, stylish, and make you look like you mean business.
Read More »
- Meatless Mondays at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch
- 10 Vegan Reasons We're Dreaming of Fall
- Two Sisters and Their Vegan Weddings
- Vegan Weddings 2016 (Jac Reasor & Jae Russell)
- How to Nail Your Ultimate Summer Look By Labor Day
- Vegan Weddings 2016 (Alex Payne & Nicole Brodeur)
- Vegan Weddings 2016 (Andrea Dermos & Kyle Domer)
- Vegan Weddings 2016 (Malissa Schwartz & Chad Sarno)
- Vegan Weddings 2016
- Vegan Survival Guide to Outside Lands
- Summer Fashion Tips from Stylish Vegan Sisters
- 4 Superheroes We Wish Were Vegan
- 4 Ways to Celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day—Vegan Style!
- 5 Crazy Vegan Stereotypes—Smashed!
- Top 3 Vegan Parenting Myths, Busted
- A Vegan Moms Guide to the Kid Party Circuit
- The VegNews Bloggy Awards
- 5 Ways a Vegan Diet Can Help with Pregnancy
- 9 Vegan Foods to Beat the California Heat
- 5 Vegan Summer Date Ideas