The history of St. Patrick’s Day


The patron saint and bishop of Ireland, Saint Patrick.

Typically known for the color green, dancing and parades, St. Patrick’s Day is more than a common celebration. The cultural and religious celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is recognized every Mar. 17. The celebration is followed by attending church and consuming a traditional meal of cabbage and Irish bacon.

The St. Patrick’s Day tradition goes back to the fifth century, when the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, was alive. Contrary to popular belief, Saint Patrick was not Irish. He was born in Great Britain and was brought to Ireland at 16 years old when he was kidnapped. During his time in captivity, Patrick became loyal to Christianity after envisioning his life as “God’s test of faith.” Six years later, he escaped from his captors and received praise for bringing Christianity to Ireland. He converted parts of the island nation to his new religion, spreading Christianity through his visions. To achieve his goals, Christianity grew as a popular religion in Ireland after Patrick founded councils, church officials and monasteries. He later served as a bishop during a return to Ireland. Mar. 17th became the legacy date of Saint Patrick for his work and efforts.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s day did not begin until between the 9th and 10th centuries. The first known parade took place on Mar. 17, 1601 in what was then *insert what it was called then*, a Spanish colony but is present-day St. Augustine, Florida. Celebrations in American cities such as New York and Boston became known for their parades. In 1848, the New York Irish Aid Society held a St. Patrick’s Day parade, which became one of the most populous parades in the United States, with over 150,000 individuals attending.

As more Irish people immigrated to other parts of the world, numerous cities grew accustomed to their traditions celebrating the Irish holiday. For example, the city of Chicago has a yearly tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green using 40 pounds of dye. The vibrant color of the river only lasts for a couple of hours. Extending to different continents, St. Patrick’s day recipes have been incorporated into Asian, European and Australian cuisine as well.
What was originally a saint’s detailed vision is now one of the most celebrated holidays in the world. As long-established traditions evolve into modern ones, St. Patrick’s day is among the most-known celebrations around the world.