St. Patrick’s Day CelebrationsPublished:
St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, the day we all pretend to be Irish and down a few Guinness. But who was this St. Patrick guy anyway? Here’s a brief history of St. Patrick’s Day. Well, first of all, St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. Born in Britain in the late fourth century, Maewyn Succat was captured and enslaved by Irish Raiders. After years of forced labor, he escaped to Britain, where he joined the Catholic Church. He changed his name to Patricious or Patrick.
Years later, he returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary, devoting nearly 30 years to converting the Irish. Now, legend has it that Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland, but to tell you the truth, there never were snakes on the island.
When he finally died, Patrick became the patron saint of Ireland despite his British heritage. It all began in 1903 when St. Patrick’s Day, also known as Feast Day, became a national holiday in Ireland celebrated on March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death.
Festivities usually just amounted to attending church and gathering for feasts. In fact, drinking was actually banned in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day up until the 1970s. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America in the early 1700s, where it evolved into a secular holiday, often centered around drinking and celebrating all things Irish.
The first-ever St. Patrick’s Day celebration/parade was held in Boston in 1737, and today, there are over 100 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations/parades across the US. In Chicago, they used 40 pounds of green dye to turn the river even greener each year, and New York City’s annual parade is the largest in the world with an estimated 2 million spectators.
With over 34 million Americans claiming Irish ancestry, even more claiming to be Irish when they’re not. It’s no surprise St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have become one of the largest in the country.
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