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St. Patrick Day Parade Costume & Decoration Ideas

What Is The History Of St. Patrick’s Day?

The real St. Patrick lived during the fifth century and arrived in Ireland as a slave when he was 16. He eventually escaped back to his home country, but returned after several years, convinced by a vision that he had a higher calling there as a Christian missionary. There is much debate over whether the legends of his achievements are accurate. For instance, although it’s commonly accepted that he taught the Irish about the Holy Trinity using a shamrock as a visual, research suggests he couldn’t have driven the snakes out of Ireland, as there’s no fossils or records to validate the existence of snakes in Ireland at the time. Nevertheless, the tone of the holiday was heavily influenced by accounts of his efforts to promote Christian virtues and convert the people of Ireland.

What Are The Traditions Of St. Patrick’s Day?

Over a millennium ago, St. Patrick’s Day began as a solemn observance of the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick, annually held on March 17th. Typically, families would go to church in the morning, and celebrate afterwards by eating, drinking, and dancing. The significance of drinking on St. Patrick’s Day is due in part to Lenten prohibitions being lifted for this holy celebration, which included forgiving the ban on alcohol for the day.

What Do Leprechauns Have to Do With St. Patrick’s Day?

Interestingly enough, there is no actual link between leprechauns and St. Patrick’s Day, besides the fact that they’re both products of Irish culture. The connection may have stemmed from the release of the Disney movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People, which is about an old Irish man who encounters leprechauns. The film premiered in 1959; around the same time St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were gaining traction in the United States- which may have influenced the widespread cultural association. That said, the reason often given for wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is to make you “invisible to leprechauns”… and therefore, impervious to their pinches.

St. Patrick’s Day: Paint The Town Green

Over time, like most major holidays, St. Patrick’s Day evolved from a traditional religious observance into the most widely celebrated national holiday in existence. No matter where you live, you’re probably used to seeing a plethora of Irish flags and green-clad crowds every March 17th. Even if you aren’t of Irish descent, you’ve probably at least sported a green necktie or socks for the occasion. But if you’re looking for a little more pageantry for St. Paddy’s, we’re here to get you started!

Gear up in green with us!

What Do I Wear For St. Patrick’s Day?

Obviously, green is key… Kelly green, to be exact! The original symbolism draws from the legend of Goídel, who was bitten by a snake and healed by Moses’ staff, leaving behind a green mark. It also evokes the image of shamrocks, which it is typically associated with – and accessorized with – today. Other common motifs include gold accessories, leprechaun hats, tartan prints, and shot glass necklaces.

Tip: Not sure whether you want to make the investment for just one day of festivities? Skip the shamrock and leprechaun themes and go with versatile pieces that suit your celebratory needs year-round! For example, sequined green apparel can be repurposed for Mardi Gras and Christmas, and flashy gold accessories will come in handy for New Year’s Eve.

What Decorations Are Used On St. Patrick’s Day?

If you’re Irish, Irish flags are a good start! If you’re simply participating in cultural appreciation, try using the flag’s green, white, and orange hues in the form of streamers, drinkware, and tablecloths. If you’re decorating for a business, you can’t go wrong with paper cutouts- think shamrocks and pots of gold. Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, get some prop cauldrons and fill them with chocolate gold coins or pretzels!

Tip: Holiday themed treats are always a good idea, but not everyone’s got the time to frost cupcakes or cut cookies into shamrocks. If you need something quick and inexpensive, try filling a bowl with green candy, or add a little food coloring to whatever’s in your punchbowl.

What To Wear At The St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

Once you’ve taken color scheme into consideration, next up is the finish. Metallic fabric, sequins, and tinsel are all light reflective, which help make an ensemble really pop. You can also stand out with dynamic accessories like green wigs, light-up necklaces or glasses, bopper headbands, and of course, green and gold makeup products! (Face gems are also excellent, especially if you’re pressed for time.)

What St. Patrick’s Day Float Supplies To Consider

If you’re on a parade float, you can use props to elevate the aesthetic factor. Flags and banners to wave, feather boas to flaunt, and pots o’ gold are all good ways to get your float noticed. If you’re on a lovemobile, be sure to wear non-constrictive clothing so you can move freely!

Featured On Syracuse Channel 9 News

If you’re still feeling a little lost, Syracuse Channel 9 News’ piece on Go-To St. Patrick’s Day Items is here to give you the lowdown on Abracadabra’s St. Patrick’s Day costumes, accessories, and decorations. We had the pleasure of being asked to showcase of a few must-have St Patrick’s Day items no one should live without. Check out the video below to see our top picks.