St. Patrick’s Day Moved

Angela emailed me to ask if it's true that St. Patrick's Day has been moved this year, from March 17 to March 15. Yes, it's true. At least for the Irish.

The problem is that Easter falls unusually early this year, which means that the traditional date for St. Patrick's Day, March 17, is going to land in the middle of Holy Week (the week immediately preceding Easter). To avoid this, Church authorities have ordered that religious celebrations for St. Patrick's Day occur instead on March 15th in Ireland.

Similarly, in Chicago organizers have moved the annual parade an entire week earlier, to avoid conflicting with Palm Sunday.

I assume that non-Catholics who celebrate St. Patrick's Day can continue to do so on the traditional date. I look forward to St. Paddy's Day as an excuse to have corned beef with cabbage, washed down with a pint of Guinness. Maybe I'll celebrate it on the 15th and the 17th this year.


Posted on Mon Feb 25, 2008


Thanks so much for answering my question! I thought my friends were pulling my leg at first.

I'm Catholic, but I'm not Irish... And I've never really celebrated Saint Patrick's Day in a traditional sense... But I'm sure I have friends who will be interested in this (all my friends who graduated from Notre Dame, for instance).

Thanks again!
Posted by Angela  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  03:06 PM
Oh, and thanks for noting that the parade has switched dates!
Posted by Angela  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  03:21 PM
Yes, the religious celebration (in churches) was asked to be moved to not conflict with Holy Week.

But every St. Patrick's Day secular/public events happen at different times to accomodate people's schedules. Anyway the results vary so St. Patrick's Day generally has not moved. There will be a parade in Dublin on March 17th. In Boston there was more of conflict with Palm Sunday on March 16th because certain events are scheduled for the nearest weekend day to March 17th.

Anyway, in the Boston area the bars refer to all of mid-March as "St. Patrick's season".
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  03:34 PM
Seeing as St. Patrick's Day is a Catholic holiday I suppose the Church has the right to shift it about if needs be. I think this is pretty cool.

Means I can celebrate both.
Posted by Renquist  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  07:49 PM
interesting side note. because the official holiday is on the 17th and it falls within holy week, the two biggest drinking days in the irish calender are in the same week. st patricks day and good friday. good friday is the only day of the year except for christmas day that alcohol cannot be sold. dutifully we stock up on as much booze as possible the day before and get defiently sloshed
Posted by Sensibleken  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  10:31 AM
I'd like to know how many people who celebrate St Patrick's day are actually Irish people who live in Ireland.
Posted by Nona  on  Wed Feb 27, 2008  at  05:42 AM
im from dublin in ireland and its actually a huge thing here. the parades and the pubs are the main things. ive never been to the states but the celebrations there look similar to here. id say the only difference is the tradition of corned beef and cabage. we dont have that here, probably because its all a good section of the populace had to eat for years. and if youre ever over i can sow you about 😊
Posted by Sensibleken  on  Wed Feb 27, 2008  at  07:17 AM
A coworker of mine passed on this link:

He's Irish (and Catholic) and he's said that the Irish have a religious dispensation to celebrate St. Patrick's day fully on the 17th even when it falls during Holy week. The parade has not been moved and the good folks of Dublin are ignoring the move completely.
Posted by Rose  on  Thu Feb 28, 2008  at  02:08 PM
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