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The Reason We Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Updated on July 10, 2013
The traditional icon of the shamrock stems from the Irish tale that tales how Patrick used it to explain the trinity. He used it in his sermons to explain how the the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all exist as separate elements of the same ent
The traditional icon of the shamrock stems from the Irish tale that tales how Patrick used it to explain the trinity. He used it in his sermons to explain how the the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all exist as separate elements of the same ent

St. Patrick's Day History

St. Patrick's Day is the celebration of Ireland's patron saint, St Patrick.

Patrick was born in Wales about 385 AD. He actually considered himself a pagan until the age of 16. At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders, and during his captivity he became closer to God. He escaped from slavery after six years, went to Gaul and studied in the monastery where he became aware that his mission was to convert pagans into Christianity. He was quite successfully at converting pagans and arrested several times by the Celtic Druids for do so. His mission in Ireland lasted thirty years: establishing monasteries, setting up schools, and building churches which would aid him in his conversion. He died on March 17th 461 AD. The day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since.

Traditionally, Irish families would attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon with dancing, drinking, and feasting on the traditional Irish meal of Irish bacon and cabbage. Traditionally, St. Patrick's Day has been seen as a religious holiday, in fact, up until the late 1970s Irish pubs were mandated by law to be closed on March 17th, however, this law was dropped in 1995 for tourist reasons.

First St. Patrick's Day Parade

St. Patrick's Day was first publicly celebrated in America in Boston in 1737, but the first St. Patrick's Day Parade was not in Ireland, but in the United States on March 17, 1762.  Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City to help Irish soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots. Over the next 35 years several parades flourished, so in 1848 New York Irish Aid Societies decided to unite their parades to form one New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade. Today, that parade is the world's oldest civilian parade.

Celebrated Around The World

Today St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people all around the world of all backgrounds such as Canada, Australia, Japan, Russia, etc.  Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and firework shows.

Luck of the Irish

  • Finding a four leaf clover
  • Kissing the blarney stone - The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. Kissing the stone is supposed to bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence. 

St. Patrick's Day Pinch

This is a tradition stared by American school children.  Wearing green is strictly a U.S. custom, as the color green is not popular in Ireland.  Green is connected to the old green Irish flag when Ireland was not free, but green is a color connected with hope and nature.


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    • profile image

      Linda Myshrall 7 years ago

      I enjoyed this hub very much... I live in Savannah, GA, where they host the 3rd (4th?) largest St. Patrick's day parade and celebration each year. They dye the fountains green, huge parade, standing room only, lotsa fun. Great hub!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      The wearing of the green is to celebrate Ireland also known as the Emerald Isle. I did not know that they don't go for the green in Ireland. Haven't been to a St. Patrick's Day Parade in years, but should, they are such fun.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 7 years ago from Florida

      Totally enjoyed this hub. It is clear that the traditional St Patrick's Day revelry may not be what he would have wanted. LOL oops. Happy Saint Patrick's Day

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      good hub, now I understand more, Thank you figmnent, maita

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 6 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      Good hub. Good info on kissing the blarney stone. I would add though that kissing the blarney stone also metaphorically means getting away with a harmless falsehood. As a writer I have kissed the metaphorical blarney stone many a time.

      I have a sister-in-law with Irish roots who is Catholic. Now I understand why she is not keen on the color green. She thinks it brings bad luck. Me? I always thought she should feel that way about Orange.

      St. Patrick's Day is well and truly celebrated in Australia with everyone wanting to wear at least something green on their persons baring my sister-in-law of course. Ulysses is read in pubs and that's a bit too Irish for me. But I do like the occasional Guinness. A strange black brew with a heady creamy top to it.

    • almasi profile image

      almasi 6 years ago

      Thanks for an informative hub.

    • gguy profile image

      gguy 6 years ago from new jersey usa

      Great hub, I always thought the green stood for the Emerald Isle, it is a beautiful place, but some areas are all rocks just like the U.S. southwest.

      Rod ever try a few pints of smithwicks? great less known Irish brew.

      Anybody know about the legend of Saint Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland?

    • gguy profile image

      gguy 6 years ago from new jersey usa

      OH, one more thing, do you know there are more "pipes" are made in Ohio than anywhere else in the world!!!

    • PADDYBOY60 profile image

      PADDYBOY60 5 years ago from Centreville Michigan

      Great hub. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks.

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