History of St Patrick’s Day

by | Social

 St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

 

ST. PATRICK’S DEATH AND THE FIRST ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE

St Patricks Day

Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.

Did You Know?
More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States; New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.

Since around the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick on March 17. Interestingly, however, the first parade held to honor St. Patrick’s Day took place not in Ireland but in the United States. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.

 

GROWTH OF ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATIONS

Over the next 35 years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called “Irish Aid” societies like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums.

In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one official New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Today, that parade is the world ‘s 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 procession, which takes more than five hours. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Savannah also celebrate the day with parades involving between 10,000 and 20,000 participants each.

 

THE IRISH IN AMERICA

Up until the mid-19th century, most Irish immigrants in America were members of the Protestant middle class. When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, close to 1 million poor and uneducated Irish Catholics began pouring into America to escape starvation. Despised for their alien religious beliefs and unfamiliar accents by the American Protestant majority, the immigrants had trouble finding even menial jobs. When Irish Americans in the country’s cities took to the streets on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate their heritage, newspapers portrayed them in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys.

The American Irish soon began to realize, however, that their large and growing numbers endowed them with a political power that had yet to be exploited. They started to organize, and their voting block, known as the “green machine,” became an important swing vote for political hopefuls. Suddenly, annual St. Patrick’s Day parades became a show of strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of political candidates. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman attended New York City ‘s St. Patrick’s Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish Americans whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in the New World.

 

THE CHICAGO RIVER DYED GREEN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY

As Irish immigrants spread out over the United States, other cities developed their own traditions. One of these is Chicago’s annual dyeing of the Chicago River green. The practice started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river–enough to keep it green for a week! Today, in order to minimize environmental damage, only 40 pounds of dye are used, and the river turns green for only several hours.

Although Chicago historians claim their city’s idea for a river of green was original, some natives of Savannah, Georgia (whose St. Patrick’s Day parade, the oldest in the nation, dates back to 1813) believe the idea originated in their town. They point out that, in 1961, a hotel restaurant manager named Tom Woolley convinced city officials to dye Savannah’s river green. The experiment didn’t exactly work as planned, and the water only took on a slight greenish hue. Savannah never attempted to dye its river again, but Woolley maintains (though others refute the claim) that he personally suggested the idea to Chicago’s Mayor Richard J. Daley.

 

ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATIONS AROUND THE WORLD

Today, people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore and Russia.

In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use interest in St. Patrick’s Day to drive tourism and showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world. Today, approximately 1 million people annually take part in Ireland ‘s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows.

 

Who Qualifies for VA Home Loans
For many veterans and their families, buying a home can be a difficult experience. Many veterans have little patience for the drawn out process of finding a loan, and others have not always had the best luck with credit. Fortunately, Veterans Affairs (VA) can help....
5 Helpful Resources for Women Who are Expecting
If you are living paycheck to paycheck or struggling to make ends meet, a pregnancy can put a lot of extra stress on you and your family. Luckily, there are single mom resources available to help you if you need some assistance. These programs provide benefits such as...
Natural Healing Options for Arthritis
Arthritis comes in various forms, but it's always painful. The typical medical approach is to take some sort of pain medication (usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NASDs) that might result in various side effects, such as stomach pain. Thankfully, there...
Should You Consolidate Student Loans?
Should You Consolidate Student Loans? In order to make it through the years of school, students take on a lot of debt from various loans. Sometimes, these loans come from private lenders with higher interest rates and fewer protection. Most loans, however, are funded...
Finding Employment with Job Searches
Finding Employment with Job Searches Sometimes, life hits Americans hard. With ups and downs in the economy, it may be difficult to maintain consistent employment over a long period of time. Fortunately, there are options to help find a new job or career. In the...
Coupon Tips That Can Save You Money
Everyone loves a great deal and your luck will get better when you find coupons for your favorite items. There are a lot of great locations to discover coupons these days, including the Internet, newspapers and flyers. These are tips and techniques on how...
Understanding Federal Grants (Part 2)
 In the last issue we talked about how the federal grant system works and how you can make it work for you. In this issue we are going talk about exactly who's eligible to apply for federal grant money. The simple fact is that almost everyone is eligible...
5 Strategies to Save Money on a Shoestring Budget
 If you are one of the many people who live on a tight budget, you may feel the stress of your situation on a daily basis. Even a seemingly small issue that arises and has reasonable expenses can throw your budget off track. Reducing your costs is a great...
Increasing Literacy in Children
Increasing Literacy in Children Literacy is important. This is a fact that cannot be stressed enough. Often, arts and literature are tossed to the side to make way for additional funding in other areas, but learning to read lays the foundation for further education...
Unpaid Wages Recovery Guide
If you worked for it, then you should get all upaid wages. Everyday can be a struggle and still come up on the short end of the stick. That is why you may be frustrated when you are not paid the money you are owed. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take...
Section 8 Vouchers Less Likely to be Accepted
 About 300 less, that is the number in Nashville, TN. Since 2010 there has been 300 fewer Section 8 vouchers accepted throughout the Greater Nashville Area. Families are being kicked out of their apartments and housing because the owners have just decided...
HARP Eligibility and Assistance
 If your mortgage is making your financial life more difficult than you expected, you can get assistance through a program called HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program). HARP eligibility is easy to determine as there are several factors that can affect...
Social Security Disability Benefit Application Help
 There are several advantages to applying for Social Security Benefits online. There is no need for an appointment and it will definitely save you time. Visitng your local Social Security Office can be very time consuming and frustrating. Read the...
How Do You Repair Your Credit Score?
How Do You Repair Your Credit Score? You may be bombarded with ads for businesses telling you they can help fix your credit. Many companies say they have some kind of proven method for improving your credit score. However, you should first follow this advice and see...
Job Hunting at Career Fairs
Are you looking to find a new job or a new career? If you are, you may want to try career day job hunting, as it is a great way to not only find available jobs, but also apply and interview the same day. Looking for new and exciting careers? Click the link below!...
Modern Millionaires Mindset
Here’s A Modern Millionaire Rhetorical Question:   If you have a spare million dollars in your bank account today… How will you spend it? Pay off all your bills and loans? Buy your dream car? Dream house? Give your family a better life? Travel all...
Is Public Housing An Option for You?
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) utilizes several programs to ensure housing for lower-income families. One of these programs is Public Housing. This program was designed to provide decent and safe rental homes for lower-income...
Things You Need to Know About Section 8 Assistance
Things You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing Some families might find a safe, decent and affordable housing as a big challenge to tackle. Majority of regions in the United States do not have rent control laws in place. Therefore some renters find affording a...
How To Get Involved with Affiliate Marketing or Direct Sales
How To Get Involved with Affiliate Marketing or Direct Sales Life can busy and complicated. With increased costs in childcare, one parent must often stay at home to watch the kids while the other parent works. Or, as someone begins their adulthood, they may need...
5 Ways to Keep Your House During A Market Crash
Anyone paying attention to the housing market in the Los Angeles area knows that home prices have been at record highs. National Mortgage News suggests that this could be a housing bubble about to burst, and a decline in home prices and an increase in mortgage...

Subscribe

Family Picnic

Enter Your Email for Best Results

Due to the overwhelming response, please enter your name and email to ensure the proper search results.

You Are On Your Way!

Family Picnic

Enter Your Email to Receive New Assistance Updates

Due to the overwhelming response, please enter your name and email to ensure proper results.

Thank You! You will now receive the latest assistance updates!

Family Picnic

Enter Your Email for Best Results

Due to the overwhelming response, please enter your name and email to ensure the proper search results.

You Are On Your Way!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This