People celebrate the death anniversary of St. Patrick, a patron saint, and Ireland’s apostle, on March 17 every year. He died back in the 5th century, and in the Irish culture, St. Patrick’s Day has been a religious holiday for about 1,000 years now. The families will come to church in the morning to celebrate this day, and the celebration will take off in the afternoon. The holiday falls in the Christian month of Lent, and they are restricted from consuming meat in any form. Apart from long dancing and drinking sessions, the families will only consume traditional food, including cabbage and Irish bacon. St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain and has suffered quite a lot at a very tender age. He was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave when he was just 16. Though he managed to escape, he returned to Ireland after a short time and was trusted to bring Christianity to the country. According to experts and various studies, he died on March 17, 461. Upon his death, his ideology and beliefs were even more practiced and amplified in the Irish communities. If we talk about the places that are the hub of this holiday celebration, NYC and Boston will come on the top.
Though he was more prevalent in Ireland and born in Britain, the first proper St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in the United States. The Irish people have engaged themselves in a Roman Feast since the 9-10th century. The first parade was recorded on March 17, 1601, in St. Augustine. It was in the Spanish colony, which is now in Florida. In 1772, more than a century later, a battalion of English military parade to honor this patron saint.
How Did The Celebrations Grow?
From the day of the first parade, it took around 35 years for the Irish immigrants who settled in the States to grow some love for their holiday. Meanwhile, various Irish Aid societies popped up. They used to organize separate parades until the year 1867. From 1868, they decided to team up and manage a massive rally in New York City. Today, the train is joined with over 150,000 people and is one of the oldest civilian parades worldwide. Approximately 3 million people make themselves present on the 1.5-mile road to witness this historic moment every year. The whole parade celebration lasts for about five years, and other cities such as Chicago and Boston organize their parade with somewhere between 10,000-20,000 people. In light of Covid-19, the 2020 and 2021 parades are canceled.
Connection With Leprechauns
The leprechaun is one of the many icons that you see on this St. Patrick holiday. The name is derived from an original Irish Folklore figure, lobaircin. The term means small-bodied fellow, and its connection with this day dates back to the Celtic traditions filled with fairy tales, tiny men, and people, especially women, who were practicing magic either for some evil reason or good. The folktales that are popular in the Celtic community, leprechauns, were involved in mending shoes.
In a unique way of celebrating, people from Chicago have a tradition to turn the Chicago river green color. When it was started back in 1962, people used to pour in the edible dye that was enough to keep the river green for seven days. However, due to exceeding environmental challenges, the quantity has been reduced to 40%, and now, it remains green for just a few hours.