History of St. Patrick’s Day

       Saint Patrick’s Day is the feast day of the patron Saint of Ireland celebrated on March 17th annually. The Holiday is filled with traditional Irish meals, exciting music and lots of green. This popular holiday has a long line of history that many people don’t know about.

       Patrick was born in the late 4th century in Britain, Rome. He was kidnapped and shipped to Ireland at around 16 years old as a slave. He escaped years later but returned to Ireland to spread Christianity. When he died around March 17, 461, he had established several churches, monasteries, and schools. The legend of Patrick lived on in the Irish culture. Many legends surrounded his name, such as his explanation of the Christian Holy Trinity with an Irish three-leaved clover.

       The Irish have recognized St. Patrick’s Day as an official religious holiday for over 1,000 years. Some of the earliest celebrations of the holiday started in the 9th or 10th century. It wasn’t until the late 18th century, when the Irish served in the English army in the American colonies, that the holiday celebrations started to diffuse outside of Europe. There were parades in Boston and New York over the next 50 years and it became an official New York parade in 1848.

       Since then, the Holiday has changed from a religious feast day to a holiday recognized in around 50 different countries today. There are several different ways that places celebrate the holiday today. Since 1962, Chicago has celebrated by dying their river green. New York still holds their annual St. Patrick’s day parade. Ireland also holds an annual St.Patrick’s day parade in Dublin.

     Over the decades, the Irish holiday has evolved from a small religious feast day in Ireland to a large worldwide celebration and fun for people of every descent to celebrate.