Why is St. Patrick's Day so popular?
The Irish observe St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. The anniversary of St. Patrick's death in 461.
St. Patrick was born during the fourth century in Roman Britain and was brought to Ireland as a slave, he escaped and later returned to Ireland to bring Christianity to the people.
Saint Patrick was one of the most successful Christian missionaries in history.
Perhaps the most well-known legend of St. Patrick is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.
That's how the shamrock became associated with this holiday.
Since around the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick.
1601 - The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Ireland but in America, in a Spanish colony in what is now St. Augustine, Florida.
1737 - Irish soldiers marched in Boston. Starting their tradition of an annual St. Patrick's Day parade.
1762 - The largest and most famous parade was held in New York City.
New York's main cathedral is dedicated to St. Patrick.
The Potato Famine of 1845-1851, one of the most severe disasters in Irish history, caused an influx of Irish migrants, escaping starvation, to America.
The Irish American population grew, and so did the celebrations of St. Patrick's day.
In the late 1800s, annual St. Patrick’s Day parades became a show of political strength for Irish Americans, making the "Green Machine" an important swing vote for political hopefuls.
1848 - several New York Irish Aid societies united their parades to form one official New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Today, the NYC parade is the oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants. Each year, nearly 3 million people line the 1.5-mile parade route to watch the five-hour procession.
Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Savannah also celebrate the day with parades involving 10,000 and 20,000 participants each.
Green is Ireland's national color, so people celebrating St. Patrick's Day strive to wear something green.
1962 - Chicago started dyeing the Chicago River green. City pollution-control workers used green vegetable dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. 40 pounds turn the river green for several hours.
The Leprechaun was associated with St Patrick's day mainly due to their origin in Ireland. They were initially red but turned green to signify Ireland. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, who make shoes and hide gold at the end of rainbows. They were known for their trickery, which they used to protect their treasure.
Because March 17 falls during Lent, The Christian people held a great feast for which Lenten food and alcohol restrictions were temporarily removed, which is why drinking has become synonymous with the holiday.
Popular St. Patrick’s Day foods include Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and champ (mashed potatoes with scallions).
Today, Around the world, people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Some of my favorite IRISH PROVERBS
Sceitheann fíon fírinne (Wine reveals the truth);
Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí (Give praise to the young and they will flourish);
An té a bhíos fial roinneann Dia leis (God shares with the generous);
Is maith an scáthán súil charad (The eye of a friend is a good mirror);