The Business of St. Patrick's Day in America & Ireland

Mar 11, 2014

Anne Flynn Schlicht modeled a Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day parade t-shirt and tasted "Irish Potatoes", a coconut creme confection sold in the US. She was not impressed.
Credit Katherine Blackley / 90.5 WESA

From parades to shamrocks and the wearin’ o’ the green you see a lot of people celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Pittsburgh. But how does the U.S. celebration of this holiday differ from Ireland’s?

Anne Flynn Schlicht, Assistant Director at the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University and a native of Cork, Ireland, discussed the business of St. Patrick’s Day.

She said St. Patrick's Day is known as the Feast of St. Patrick in Ireland, and it was originally celebrated as a religious holiday.

Ireland is an island that doesn't have any snakes, but not because St. Patrick drove them out of the country as the myth claims.

"Snakes often represent evil and symbolically it is saying that St. Patrick drove the old, evil, Pagan ways out of Ireland," Anne said.