History Behind St. Patrick’s Day

By Corey Bennett

Friday, March 17, 2023, is a day that many have been looking forward to for a while. It’s St. Patrick’s day. This day was originally made to honor St. Patrick’s death in the fifth century. This holiday has also been seen as a religious holiday by the Irish and they have been celebrating this day for more than 1,000 years. On this day people would be able to go to church and the religious tradition of not consuming meat was waived. Families were able to feast on cabbage and Irish bacon, dance, and drink.

Saint Patrick was alive during the fifteenth century. He is the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. He was born in roman Britain where he would’ve lived a long and prosperous life. However, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. After being there for a while he eventually was able to escape. But then later he returned to Ireland and was credited with  bringing Christianity to its people. 

He taught the religion of Christianity to those all over Ireland and it eventually became their culture. St. Patrick then died and following his death (which was believed to have happened on March 17th), the legend regarding his life became even more ingrained in Irish culture. One legend also states that he explained the Holy Trinity using the leaves of a native plant in Ireland, known as the three-leaf clover or the shamrock. 

We can see that in the ninth or tenth century, people in Ireland took great notice of the Roman Catholic feast day on March 17th. Believe it or not, the first actual St. Patrick’s parade didn’t happen in Ireland, but in America. This parade was held on March 17th, 1601 in a Spanish colony  now known as St. Augustine, Florida. More than a century later homesick Irish soldiers who were serving the English military marched into New York City on March 17th, 1772 in honor of the Irish Patron Saint. Enthusiasm for these parades in New York grew, and from there other early American cities also grew interested in celebrating them. 

Nowadays St. Patrick’s day is still celebrated and is the most popular in the United States, Canada, and even Australia. Though America is known for celebrating it the most it is celebrated all over the world, even in locations  far away from Ireland. 

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