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 DaySaint 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.

 

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...
Positive Thinking Can Change Your Life
Positive Thinking Can Change Your Life Enthusiasm Is Positive Energy “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” - Helen Keller Enthusiasm is the sunshine of your mind’s garden....
Helping Homelessness with Government Grants
 Poverty and homelessness in the United States and around the world is increasing on a daily basis. Here in the United States, rising housing costs and lower livable wages have been among the 2 biggest contributing factors. Lack of mental health facilities...
Receiving $4000 in Home Rebates
 Are there any home improvements that you have been contemplating lately? Are you struggling to make ends meet already? Learn more about three Programs a that could help you and millions of homeowners qualify for a $4,000 rebate. These Are Very Tough...
Ways to Face Fears | Succeed
All of us have a hard time with failure, and it can often lead us to feeling insecure about ourselves. It can even begin to compound our fears and leave us feeling nervous and anxious in unfamiliar situations. We want to be able to predict and control everything that...
Inexpensive Public School Alternatives
Sending kids to the public school a few blocks away is a simple task for some families. However, not all parents wish to follow this route. They may have concerns about the safety of the public school in the neighborhood, or they may want a different type of education...
Denied Insurance Claim? Don’t Give Up!
Buying insurance is a common and thoughtful step that people take to protect themselves financially from a major mishap, accident or other type of loss. When you purchase insurance, you understandably expect the insurance company to pay out on a claim so that you can...
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...
“Believe in The Power of 3”
The number 3 is the first number to which the meaning “All” was given. It is the number of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle, and an end. When you raise the number 3 to a second power, it simply magnifies everything you already have and...
5 Common Ways Families Overspend
If you are looking for ways to free up extra money in your family budget, you are not alone. You may be eager to use any extra money that you can find for debt reduction, savings, or other goals. While it may seem as though there is little or no extra room to scale...
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...
How to Manage Credit Card Payments
Do you have issues paying off credit cards? Sometimes the interest itself can be an overwhelming monthly payment. We have gathered some information below from credit experts that can hopefully help you manage your payments and find a way out from under...
How A Home Warranty Will Save You Money
A Home Warranty Will Save You Money Owning a home can be expensive. Appliances break down, and air conditioners tend to quit working in the middle of the summer. In fact, most home have a major mechanical breakdown twice each year. Usually, these breakdowns occur at...
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...
4 Challenging Discussions (And How To Have Them)
It's not always easy to practice open and honest communication, especially with your family. Unfortunately, that lack of communication can have serious consequences. If you're having a hard time finding the courage to approach your family about an issue...
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...
How To Find Good Insurance Companies
 Insurance is a part of life whether you’re looking to protect your life, home, or automobile. All insurance companies are not equal. Working with a good insurance company is just as, if not more, important as having coverage. Here are four things to keep...
Morning Habits for Success
Are you a morning person? Many people enjoy getting up at the sunrise and having a cup of coffee while they browse the web and others prefer to sleep in as long as possible but the most successful people in the world embrace the mornings and in fact there...
Section 8 Housing | Where Do I Start?
Ok, what exactly is section 8 housing? Section 8 housing is also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. It is very fortunate here in the USA that housing assistance exists for low-income families, elderly, disabled and mentally challenged. The...
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...

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 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