The Reason We Celebrate St. Patrick's Day
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.