St. Patrick's Day

Always celebrated on March 17

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Facts

  • About 134 million people in the United States celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in 2013. Wearing green is one of the most popular ways people celebrate the holiday. (Source: National Retail Federation, Feb. 2013)
  • Americans spend about $4.7 billion celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. (Source: National Retail Federation, Feb. 2013)
  • Industry-wide, Americans exchange about 5 million St. Patrick’s Day cards annually.
  • About 37 million people in the United States claim Irish ancestry. In Massachusetts, 24% of residents are of Irish ancestry, compared with 12% of the nation as a whole. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009)
  • Hallmark began producing St. Patrick’s Day cards in the early 1920s.

2014 Product Features

  • Hallmark offers about 100 St. Patrick's Day greeting cards. The cards meet a wide range of card-sending needs, from traditional to humorous to St. Pat's Day birthday greetings.
  • Card prices range from 99 cents to $4.99.
  • Cards are available for specific family members, including grandson and granddaughter.
  • Hallmark also offers four St. Patrick's Day cards that feature songs.
  • St. Patrick's Day card designs and sentiments often reflect Irish religious and cultural beliefs. Traditional Irish blessings and messages of faith, family, and pride in an enduring and rich heritage are featured on many Hallmark St. Patrick's Day cards.
  • Many cards feature popular Irish icons. The shamrock, a symbol of St. Patrick's Day, recognizes the saints' use of the clover to explain the Christian concept of the Trinity. The three leaves represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the stem represents the Godhead. Other popular Irish icons include Ireland's flag and the leprechaun, a fanciful shoemaker of Gaelic folklore said to bestow good wishes and good luck. Rural landscapes evocative of the "Emerald Isle" are popular, as are cards that tout the traditions of Ireland.
  • Multi-card packages at value prices appeal to those who want to reach out to several relatives and friends at St. Patrick's Day.
  • Hallmark.com offers St. Patrick's Day paper greeting cards, which consumers can customize with their own messages and photos. Consumers will also find a St. Pat's Day party invitation to personalize. Hallmark will address and mail the cards or invitations with a few simple clicks.
  • HallmarkEcards.com provides St. Patrick's Day ecards to share with friends and family, available with a subscription. The selection includes characters such as Maxine, Peanuts© and hoops&yoyo.
  • Hallmark’s St. Patrick’s Day paper partyware, buttons, necklaces, hats, head boppers and stickers make celebrations more festive.
  • Hallmark Gold Crown® stores also offer a Peanuts-themed Hallmark Keepsake Ornament featuring Peppermint Patty holding a shamrock. The ornament is part of the Series in a Year program, in which a new Peanuts ornament is introduced each month for a year.

Holiday History

History and legend intertwine to create the story of St. Patrick. The only definite statement that can be made about St. Patrick's life is that he was not Irish. As far as anyone has been able to determine, St. Patrick was a Britannic Celt who was reared as a Roman Catholic. It is not known whether March 17 was the birth or death date of St. Patrick; it may be neither.

St. Patrick is best known for driving the snakes out of Ireland. The snake was a pagan symbol, so this Irish folk tale may allude to St. Patrick driving paganism out of Ireland.

The first American St. Patrick’s Day celebration appears to have been in Boston in 1737. The custom was begun by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston, a Protestant organization founded that year to help needy Irishmen. The first parade held to honor St. Patrick's Day took place not in Ireland but in the United States. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.

Over time, the rich traditions of the Irish have been embraced as part of the U.S. cultural heritage, and while it remains a festive holiday, St. Patrick's Day has become an occasion to honor and celebrate the Irish culture.

In Stores

Available at Hallmark Gold Crown® stores nationwide and wherever Hallmark products are sold. Use the store locator on Hallmark.com to find the nearest Hallmark Gold Crown store.

 

Fun Fact

In 1915, Hall Brothers purchased engraving presses to begin printing and publishing greeting cards, becoming a manufacturer for the first time.