St. Patrick’s Day Traditions

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St. Patrick's Day tradition display on wooden table. Green, pistachio pudding served in individual clear glasses with ornate gold spoons. Gold foil chocolate coins and Lucky Leprechaun note displayed on table.

Creating St. Patrick’s Day traditions with your family makes it a fun holiday everyone will look forward to celebrating. Whether or not your surname begins with the patronymic O’, St. Patrick’s Day invites welcomed fun for every family.

The wearin’ o’ the green begins this lucky day as one chooses what to wear. People will go all out dressing head to toe in green. Some choose to dye their hair or paint their nails green. Others like to be tricky uncovering hidden green socks when provoked. No matter the choice, all efforts of wearing green are an attempt to ward off motivated pinchers. According to folklore, this traditional St. Patrick’s Day game follows the belief that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns. Wearing green is advised because mischievous leprechauns like to pinch people. You have been warned!

Leprechauns are often depicted as tricky, little, bearded men in a jacket and hat of green. Each leprechaun is believed to have a pot of gold hidden away somewhere in the Irish countryside, possibly at the end of a rainbow. It is said if you were to catch one of these lone fairies, he must turn over his golden treasure to you. But, don’t think you can just sneak up on a leprechaun, they are known to be magical, mystical, and very tricky. It is possible you’ve walked past a leprechaun while on a hike and didn’t even know it.

There is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition historically observed by many families, including ours. Together, we create and enjoy the classic Irish meal of corned beef, cabbage, and Rye Soda Bread. We look forward to this hearty meal each year. The centerpiece at the table is our shamrock potted plant brought home one St. Patrick’s Day many years ago.

The shamrock, meaning ‘young clover’, is a familiar symbol of Ireland. This three-leaf clover was used by Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity. While shamrocks have religious ties, four-leaf clovers are associated with luck. Apparently, Ireland is home to more four-leaf clovers than anywhere else in the world. Perhaps this gives meaning to the phrase, ‘the luck of the Irish.’ If ever you happen upon a four-leaf clover, keep it as a good luck charm!

For a fun ending to our St. Patrick’s Day traditional dinner, a gold coin is discovered under each plate at the table – chocolate coins for the littlest ones and gold dollars for the older children. What luck!

Our family has another St. Patrick’s Day tradition which is especially enjoyed by wee ones. To the delight of our young children each St. Patrick’s Day, Lucky the Leprechaun magically delivers a treat to our front door.

To include this activity in your St. Patrick’s Day revelries, refer to the post photos, download the Lucky Leprechaun Note Childhood Gem and follow the directions. Enjoy what may become a new St. Patrick’s Day tradition for your family.

Celebrating annual holidays like St. Patrick’s Day binds your family together with tradition and the rhythm of the seasons. These rituals bring joy to common days creating lasting memories to share. This St. Patrick’s Day, remind your family you don’t have to be Irish to be lucky.

Learn more about Golden Days at Home by visiting our home page.

Childhood Gem written in black on a white background with a gold star to the left

Lucky the Leprechaun Note


printer paper, scissors,  basket or small bag, 2 cups cold milk, mixing bowl, whisk, small serving bowls, *instant pistachio pudding mix

*SAFETY: pudding mix contains nuts


  1. download and print leprechaun-sized note onto printer paper
  2. use scissors to cut out note, follow lines to create accordion fold
  3. remove pudding mix bag from box, insert into basket
  4. attach prepared leprechaun note to basket
  5. secretly set basket on front porch or hang from door knob, ring door bell
  6. accompany your child to answer the door
  7. your child discovers tricky Lucky Leprechaun’s delivery!
  8. read note and recipe directions
  9. assist child in preparing Magic Leprechaun Powder into a magical green surprise!
  10. enjoy a Happy St. Patrick’s Day
Janet Nicole Meyer

Janet Nicole Meyer

The founder and author of Golden Days at Home preschool curriculum savors all opportunities to play and travel with her now grown children. She and her husband hike, bike and enjoy living on a stream in Boulder, Colorado with their elderly English Mastiff, Roxy.

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2 Responses

  1. I loved doing this as a child, mom, and I love thinking about it as an adult–still makes me laugh. <3 you, Nicole

    1. Hahaha! It always made me laugh too and chuckle as I was secretly playing the part of Lucky Leprechaun timing the magical surprise for you and your brothers and sister to find!

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