What is St. Patrick's day and why do we celebrate it? Here's how to teach kids

First things first: When is St. Patrick's Day? It falls annually on March 17, but there's so much more to know about it than why we wear green to match a shamrock or the verdant Emerald Isle.

"St. Patrick's Day is the most visible day for celebrating and learning about Irish culture," said Rachael Gilkey, director of programming and education at the Irish Arts Center in New York City.

And it's a prime time to find out more about the man the day honors. Mini-history: St. Patrick was born in Britain at the end of the 4th century. After enduring various trials, his mission became teaching people of Ireland about Christianity until his death on March 17, 461.

"Yes, St. Patrick's Day can be about wearing green, and, if even for one day, identifying as Irish," Gilkey told TODAY Parents. "But it's also about enjoying and learning about the music, dance, literature and food" of Ireland.

So while moms and dads cook corned beef and cabbage and bake soda bread, kids can feed their curiosity about Ireland's patron saint in these age-appropriate ways.

RELATED: Sip on the cocktails this holiday

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St. Patrick's Day cocktails
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St. Patrick's Day cocktails

Shamrock Frappe
Courtesy Thumbtack Pro Bartender Ian McCarthy

Ingredients:

  • Mint leaves
  • 1.5 oz absinthe
  • .5 oz 1:1 simple syrup 
  • 4 oz seltzer
  • Ice

Preparation:

  1. Throw 8-10 mint leaves Into a tall glass. Gently and briefly, so as not to break or bruise, use the back side of a bar spoon to press the leaves against the sides of the glass, until you can smell the mint.
  2. To this, add absinthe and simple syrup. Stir to combine, and add seltzer. Top fully with ice, and and more seltzer if desired.
  3. Garnish with as much mint as your glass will hold, giving the bunches a quick slap between the hands beforehand will release oils on the surface and make the mint more aromatic.
  4. Add a straw and enjoy. 
Irish Mimosa

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Jameson Caskmates IPA
  • 12 parts IPA beer (hoppy and citrus IPAs are ideal)
  • 3 parts grapefruit juice
  • Grapefruit peel for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Pour Jameson Caskmates IPA and the grapefruit juice into a glass
  2. Top it off with the IPA beer
  3. Garnish with a grapefruit peel

BACARDÍ Refresco Superior

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts BACARDÍ Superior
  • .75 parts ginger syrup
  • 1 parts lime juice
  • .25 parts St-Germain
  • 4 cilantro leaves

Preparation:

  1. Shake all ingredients vigorously with plenty of ice, double strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
  2. Garnish with lime wheel and fresh cilantro. 

Brockmans Gin Gimlet

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Brockmans Gin
  • ½ oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • ¼ – ½ oz Simple Syrup
  • Lime twist to garnish

Preparation:

  1. Pour Brockmans Gin, freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup into a shaker with a handful of ice and stir.
  2. Strain into a stemmed chilled glass. Serve with a lime twist.

Cold Irish Coffee
Courtesy Thumbtack Pro Bartender Ian McCarthy

Ingredients:

  • A double shot of espresso
  • .75 oz heavy cream
  • .75 oz 1:1 simple syrups
  • 1.5 ounces blended Irish Whiskey
  • Ice

Preparation:

  1. Combine ingredients in a shaking tin with ice, shake and double strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  2. Garnish with a few coffee beans or a quick grate of nutmeg.

Sour Apple Sipper

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila
  • 1 ½ oz Sour Apple Liqueur
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • ½ oz Tres Agaves Agave Nectar 
  • Splash of sparkling water
  • Cinnamon Stick and fresh green apple slices for Garnish  

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 10 seconds and double strain over ice in glass.
  2. Top with a splash of sparkling water and garnish with sliced apples and cinnamon stick.

Gin n’ Greens

Ingredients:

  • The Botanist Gin – 1.5 oz.
  • Celery Juice – 1.5 oz.
  • Lemon Juice – .05 oz.
  • Elderflower – 1 oz

Preparation:

  1. Add The Botanist Gin, Celery Juice, Lemon Juice and Elderflower to cocktail shaker
  2. Fill with ice and shake
  3. Strain into a Highball glass with ice
  4. Finish with soda water

Mint Julep

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. In a rocks glass, gently muddle the mint leaves to release their oils.  
  2. Fill the glass with crush ice and pour the bourbon and simple syrup over the ice, stir just long enough to blend ingredients and garnish with fresh mint.

Ultimate Apple Martini

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Ketel One® Vodka
  • 1 oz. sour apple liqueur
  • 1 splash sweet and sour mix
  • 2 slices Granny Smith apple

Preparation:

  1. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker. Serve straight up in a martini glass.
  2. Garnish with two Granny Smith apple slices.

Porter Beer Float
Courtesy HelloFresh

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 TBSP Heavy Cream 
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 2 bottles of dark beer (Porter or Stout)
  • Edible Gold Flakes or Glitter 
  • Marshmallows

Preparation:

  1. Melt chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwavable sage bowl for 30-45 seconds. Stir to combine and use a spoon to drizzle over rim of glass. Set aside to cool. 
  2. Fill each glass with vanilla ice creams. Pour dark beer over top just before serving. Add a toasted marshmallow to the drink if you’re feeling crazy! Drink up! 

Classic Monkey 47 Gin + Tonic

Ingredients:

  1. 2oz Monkey 47 Gin
  2. 1/4 fresh lemon juice
  3. Top with tonic and garnish with lemon and grapefruit twists

Preparation:

  1. Build ingredients in a Collins glass over ice and garnish with Sage Sprigs. 

Easy at the Orchard

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Angry Orchard Easy Apple
  • 1 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz Ginger Syrup
  • 3 slices Cucumber

Preparation:

  1. Muddle cucumber in a shaker and then add the rest of the ingredients except Cider and shake then fine strain into a rocks glass and top with Angry Orchard Easy Apple.
  2. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

Luck of the Lime

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. In a shaker, muddle mint and cucumber. Add all ingredients except cider. Shake with ice and strain into a glass over ice.
  2. Top with cider. Garnish with extra mint and lime wedge.

Irish Hills

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts Ruffino Prosecco
  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 part lemon tonic
  • ½ part lemon juice
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • Sprig of rosemary

Preparation:

  1. In a shaker, add all ingredients except Ruffino Prosecco. Shake and fine strain into a flute.
  2. Top with prosecco and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Clever Clover
Courtesy of Absolut Vodka 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Parts Absolut Original
  • .5 Parts Celery Juice
  • .5 Parts Suze
  • .5 Parts Lime Juice
  • .75 Parts Clover Honey Syrup
  • Dash Angostura Bitters

Preparation: 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake until cold and strain into a chilled coupe glass.

Sparkling Mint Mojito

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime
  • 1 ½ oz White rum
  • 6 Mint leaves lightly muddled
  • Splash of lime

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a chilled tall glass.

  2. Garnish with a lime slice.

Guinness Half-And-Half

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Guinness Blonde North American Lager
  • 8 oz. Guinness Draught (can, bottle, or draft)
  • Half-and-half spoon
  • Pint Glass

Preparation:

  1. Pour 8oz Guinness Blonde North American Lager directly into pint glass
  2. Take a Half-and-Half spoon and slowly pour 8oz Guinness Draught over. The Guinness Blonde will stay on the bottom of the glass, and the Guinness Draught will float on top.
  3. Enjoy responsibly

San Patricios

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Espolòn Blanco
  • .75 oz. lime
  • .75 oz. cilantro simple syrup*
  • 2 oz. fresh juiced granny smith apple.

Preparation:

  1. Build ingredients in a cocktail shaker except for the apple juice and shake over plenty of ice. Strain into a tall glass of ice.
  2. Top with fresh fluffy Granny Smith Apple Juice.
  3. Garnish with an orange peel (for the Irish Flag) and some cilantro sprigs. 

*For syrup: 
Makes 2 cups of simple syrup

  1. Juice one bunch fresh cilantro and set aside.
  2. Measure 1 ¼ cups white sugar and place in a saucepan.
  3. Add cilantro juice to measuring cup and top up with water to reach 1 ¼ cups of total liquid. Add to saucepan.
  4. Gently heat liquid and sugar to dissolve. As soon as the syrup is boiling, take off heat and allow to cool before using.
  5. For best color retention, add a tsp. of citric acid or the juice of one lime.

Ginger Sage Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG
  • Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 whole pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 large piece of ginger, peeled and diced
  • 20 fresh sage leaves (plus more for garnish)

Preparation:

  1. In a saucepan combine the honey and water over medium heat and bring to a light boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey has dissolved completely.
  2. Add the pears, ginger and sage leaves. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture has reduced by 1/3 (about 15-20 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep for an additional 10 minutes. Strain the syrup into a large canning jar or thick glass bowl. Discard the ginger and sage leaves.
  4. Place a few pieces of the cooked pear into each stemless wine glass followed by 2 tbsps of the simple syrup. Add Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG and serve.

Shamrock Cooler
Created by Elad Zvi, Co-Founder, Bar-Lab

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts serrano-infused Maker's Mark® Bourbon*
  • 1 part freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ part agave syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup ice
  • 4 sprigs tarragon

Preparation:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until the ice is pureed.
  2. Serve immediately   

*Serrano-infused Maker's Mark® Bourbon

  • 2 cups Maker's Mark® Bourbon
  • 1-piece serrano pepper, cut in half and deseeded
  1. Combine the pepper and Maker's Mark® Bourbon in an airtight container and allow it to macerate for at least 2 days.
  2. Store in the fridge and shake container gently twice a day.

Lucky Leprechaun (Makes 4)

 Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Smirnoff Ice Green Apple and Smirnoff No. 21
  2. Shake
  3. Strain into a martini glass and top with ginger ale
  4. Enjoy!

Paddy's Julep

Ingredients:

  • 1.5oz Red Bush
  • .5oz Creme De Cacao
  • .5oz Simple Syrup
  • .75oz Lemon Juice 
  • 2 Dash Angostura 
  • Fresh Mint

Preparation:

  1. Build and Churn over Crushed Ice,
  2. Julep Style: Serve with Mint Sprig & Nutmeg

SVEDKA Mule

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts Svedka
  • 2 Lime Wedges
  • 4 parts Ginger Beer

Preparation:

  1. Squeeze lime wedges into a Collins glass and fill with ice. Pour in SVEDKA Vodka and top with cold ginger beer
  2. Garnish with lime wedge

Green Mary

Ingredients:

  • 35ml Ketel One Vodka
  • 100ml freshly juiced equal parts of celery and cucumber
  • 20ml freshly squeezed lime
  • 1 pinch of rock salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and dried chilli flakes
  • Half a vanilla pod

Preparation:

  1. Add all ingredients to the glass, stir well, add ice, garnish with a salted cucumber slice and vanilla pod and enjoy!

Noble Rita

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Place ingredients, except lime wedge, into shaker with ice. Shake until chilled.
  2. Strain into glass (salt rim optional). Garnish with lime wedge.

Luck of the Irish! 
Courtesy Thumbtack Pro Bartender Ian McCarthy

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz scotch whiskey
  • .75 fresh lemon juice
  • .75 orgeat syrup
Preparation:
  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing tin with ice, shake and double strain into a chilled coupe.
  2. Garnish with a lemon wheel or peel.

Gaelic Grasshopper
By Pamela Wiznitzer

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Shake lightly and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with mint and shaved chocolate

Five Points Pavilion

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake hard for 15 seconds.
  2. Double strain into a large coupe glass and garnish with cracked black pepper.

Swizzle Me Irish

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. In a glass shaker, add all ingredients, add ice and shake and strain over crushed ice.
  2. Garnish with Kiwi wheel and lemon wedge.

Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita
Courtesy HelloFresh

Ingredients:

  • Handful Cilantro
  • 1/2 Jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Ounces White Tequila
  • 2 Ounces Cucumber Juice (made by blending peeled cucumbers in a food processor, then straining)
  • 1/2 Ounce Triple Sec
  • 1 Ounce Fresh Lime Juice
  • Ice
  • Jalapeño and Cucumber Slice, for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Muddle cilantro and jalapeño in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add tequila, cucumber juice, triple sec, lime juice, and ice. Shake well.
  3. Strain cocktail into glass with ice and garnish with jalapeño and cucumber slice.

Proper Irish Coffee 

Ingredients:

Preparation

  1. In a shaker or jar, shake or whip heavy cream until slightly thickened (not completely stiff)
  2. In a mug, add Proper No. Twelve Whiskey, hot coffee, and simple syrup
  3. Stir
  4. Carefully layer on top the thickened heavy cream until it covers the drink
  5. Optional grating of nutmeg on top

Irish Gold Rush
Created by Tim Herlihy, National Tullamore D.E.W. Ambassador

Ingredients

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until well chilled, about 10 seconds.
  2. Strain into an ice-filled double old-fashioned glass.  

Basil Gimlet

Ingredients:

  • The Botanist Gin – 2 oz.
  • Fresh Lime Juice - .75 oz.
  • Simple Syrup – .5 oz.
  • Fresh Basil Leaves – 3-5 leaves

Preparation:

  1. Add The Botanist Gin, Fresh Lime Juice, Simple Syrup and basil leaves to shaker
  2. Add ice and shake
  3. Strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass
  4. Garnish with a basil leaf

Luck O’ the Irish Apple Sipper

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Combine Irish Whiskey and apple juice in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into champagne flute. Top with Moscato Spumante. Garnish with apple slice.

Stoli St. Patrick’s Day Milkshake

Ingredients:

  • Stoli Vanil – 1 part
  • White Crème de Menthe – 1 part
  • Vanilla Ice Cream – 2 scoops
  • Ice – 1 Cup
  • Cookie – Garnish
  • Mint Leaves – Garnish

Preparation:

  1. Combine ingredients in a blender
  2. Garnish with cookie and mint leaves

Sage Advice

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Combine first four ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake well with ice and strain into a Mason jar filled with ice.
  2. Top with ginger beer.
  3. Garnish with a sage leaf.

Runamok Maple’s Hugs All Around

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Gently pour the lager into a tall, chilled glass.  Add one or two teaspoons of Runamok Maple’s Hibiscus Maple Syrup to taste.
  2. Top with a few drops of bitters, stir and enjoy.

Kiwi Cooler

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz HI-CHEW Kiwi infused lemon & lime juice**
  • 2 oz orange juice 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 4 cucumber wheels (from about 1⁄4 cucumber) 
  • 1⁄4 cup mint leaves 
  • 1.5 oz Pimm’s liqueur (optional) 

Preparation:

  1. In a cocktail shaker, gently muddle the sugar, cucumber, and mint, just until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Measure in the juice and Pimm’s (if using), and shake with ice. Strain over crushed ice in a rocks glass, garnish with fresh mint and a cucumber wheel.
  3. **INFUSIONS: For juices, the infusion ratio is one piece of candy per ounce of liquid. Cut the candy into pieces and soak until dissolved.

Ginger Whiskey Cider

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Hard Cider
  • 1 oz. Whiskey
  • Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer Mini in Traditional, to fill
  • Crushed Ice

Preparation:

  1. In a 12-16 oz. high ball glass, combine the hard cider and whiskey. Fill the glass with crushed ice and top with Brooklyn Crafted.

Proper Old Fashion
Created by Nick Fogel, Beverage Director, The Late Late Bar & Spirit Grocer

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Proper No. 12
  • .25 oz Guinness syrup
  • .25 oz Amaro Nonino
  • 1 dash Walnut bitters
  • Garnish: Orange Twist

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, stir to chill. Strain into a rocks glass.

Guiness Demerara Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 quart Guinness
  • 1 quart Demerara
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of pink peppercorn

Preparation:

  1. Bring the Guinness to a simmer in a saucepan and allow to reduce by approximately half.
  2. Add cinnamon and pink peppercorn. Whisk in demerara sugar. Stir and simmer for five min allowing the mixture to thicken. Stain and cool.

Bulleit Goes Green

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Bulleit Rye
  • 1 Part green creme de menthe
  • 1 part creme de cacao
  • 1 part heavy cream
  • 5 mint leaves

Preparation

  1. Combine ingredients, pour in a coup and garnish with mint

Bijou
Barry Smyth, The Lovelace Gin Bar

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Dingle Original Gin (Pot Still, Ireland)
  • 0.5 oz green Chartreuse
  • 0.5 oz sweet vermouth (preferably Dolin)
  • 1 dash, orange bitters

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir vigorously.
  2. Strain into a coup.
  3. Squeeze, twist and garnish with a lemon peel

The St. Paddy’s Elixir
By Brandon Sweet, Foxwoods’ Director of Beverage
Served exclusively at VUE24

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Botanist Gin
  • 1 oz. cucumber juice
  • .75 oz. kiwi syrup
  • .5 oz. lime juice
  • Kiwi wheel
  • Mint leaves

Preparation:

  1. Fill half of a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the gin, cucumber juice, kiwi syrup, and lime juice to the cocktail shaker.
  3. Shake thoroughly.
  4. Strain contents into a snifter or rocks glass with fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with kiwi wheel and mint leaves.

Teq-Kiwi

Preparation:

  1. Lightly muddle ½ kiwi and 2 sprigs dill in a shaker.
  2. Combine remainder of ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
  3. Garnish with kiwi slices and a black sea salt and crushed black pepper rim.

Shamrock Sour
Old Oyster Factory Hilton Head Island S.C. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 1 tiny drop of green food coloring
  • lime wedges for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Combine ingredients, garnish with lime wheel and enjoy
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Pre-K and Kindergarten: Focus on folklore and fun

"St. Patrick's Day began as a religious holiday," Edward T. O'Donnell, associate professor of Irish-American studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., told TODAY. "But over time it has become a universal celebration of ethnic pride and Irish culture."

While legend has it that Patrick used the shamrock's three leaves to teach about the holy trinity, wee ones don't have to understand that as they get creative coloring shamrocks you can download or draw freehand.

Elementary grades: Learn about the "luck of the Irish"

Leprechauns aren't the friendliest fairies in the forest (ask Jennifer Aniston, who found out the hard way in her first big movie role). But they are known for luck.

"The Great Leprechaun Chase" is a charming new addition to author and illustrator James Dean's popular "Pete the Cat" kids' book series. In it the feisty feline tries to trap a leprechaun for luck, but learns where good fortune really comes from. That's a lesson as valuable as a pot of gold.

RELATED: Chic ways to wear green 

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Fashionable ways to wear green
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Middle school: Accent authenticity

"Seeking out traditional Irish music and dance, going to an Irish storytelling hour (deepens the) embrace of Irish culture," says Gilkey. Local libraries and schools are good sources for live events. Or, cue up a Celtic music podcast or a bit of "Riverdance" to put some Irish spring in kids' steps.

High school: Channel St. Patrick

"Like some of the people we can admire from much more recent times, Patrick stayed true to his own beliefs while not unnecessarily alienating or antagonizing the people he was trying to persuade," said Mary D. McCain, a professor of Irish Studies at DePaul University in Chicago.

As such, teens could think about two or three ideas that are core to their beliefs right now and consider how they'd explain or defend these concepts to others.

The point, McCain said, is finding ways of explaining beliefs "in a way that respects the person they're talking to, even if they think the other person's beliefs or ideas are wrong."

On St. Patrick's Day and beyond, the need for such a skill is evergreen.

RELATED: US presidents during the holiday 

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US presidents and their St. Patrick's Day looks
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US presidents and their St. Patrick's Day looks
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 15: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at an event with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar March 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. Varadkar is in Washington for a series of bilateral meetings as well as the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 15: U.S. President Donald Trump greets supporters at the White House following an event with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar March 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. Varadkar is in Washington for a series of bilateral meetings as well as the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L), US first lady Melania Trump (C) and Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar walk into the East Room of the White House March 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland meets with US President Barack Obama in Oval Office of the White House on March 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama hosted the Irish Prime Minister in honor of St. Patricks Day on Sunday. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19: U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) is escorted by (L-R) Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Irish Prime Minister Edna Kenny and U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) while leaving the U.S. Capitol on March 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama and Kenny attended the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon, which usually coincides with St. Patricks's Day, hosted by the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20: (L-R) U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), U.S. President Barack Obama, and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny walk down the steps on the House side of the U.S. Capitol after the Friends of Ireland luncheon March 20, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Boehner hosted Obama and Kenny for the annual celebration of St. Patrick?s Day. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (C) speaks with US President George W. Bush during a St. Patricks's Day Reception in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, March 17, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
402261 05: U.S. President George W. Bush (C) meets with (L-R) Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, John Reid, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble, Mark Durkan and David Robert Ford March 13, 2002 at the White House in Washington, DC. Bush met with the Irish leaders as part of the annual St. Patricks Day celebrations. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (L) gives US President George W. Bush a bowl of shamarocks during a St. Patricks's Day Reception in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, March 17, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Bill Clinton picks a shamrock from a bowl given to him by Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the White House, March 17. President Clinton will host Irish leaders with a White House reception later in the day. ZDC/JP/JDP
U.S. President Bill Clinton (R) and Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern walk to the Oval office of the White House after a traditional ceremony to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, March 17. President Clinton will host Irish leaders with a White House reception later in the day.
President Clinton confers with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (R) during a St. Patrick's Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol March 17. Ahern was expected to bestow a gift of shamrocks upon the president later in the afternoon at the White House. WM/WS
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