Well, I've got a few answers for you. Saint Patrick's Day (or the Feast of Saint Patrick) is celebrated every year on March 17th as the anniversary of Saint Patrick's death. Saint Patrick is a patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick introduced many in Ireland to Christianity. I also found that the clover comes into play with this holiday as it was a plant found in Ireland that St. Patrick could use to explain the Holy Trinity in the story of Christ. And the color green has always been synonymous with Ireland. I've never been there but I hear it makes sense.
Why have we translated this holiday into pub crawls and celebrations? March 17th falls within the days of Lent and on March 17th all restrictions of diets and alcohol are lifted in celebration. So, of course a lot of us Westerners have taken that tradition to another level.
This year I am going to celebrate with a little corned beef and cabbage. I've found that this isn't a traditional Irish meal served on St. Patrick's Day but it is a dish that Irish-Americans created and ate often as it was an affordable meal. I've never made this before but I found an easy crock-pot cooking style that I thought must be pretty fool proof. I've also enlisted the help of Willie's Butcher Shop who has already "corned" my meat (aka brined in pickling spices of his choosing). Mine is cooking today so hopefully I will find that I did everything correctly tonight!
Try this recipe and check this video out to see how easy it is.