The Origins of St. Patrick’s Day

Image from jejswiat.pl.

Image from jejswiat.pl.

Most people just skip St. Patrick’s Day and go straight to Easter.  St. Patrick’s Day is not the kind of holiday to skip.  St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate.  Some people do not even know why we celebrate St. Patrick’s day today. I think people who are Irish should know why we celebrate their culture and their heritage.

St. Patrick’s day is usually on March 17. St. Patrick’s Day started as a religious feast day in the 17th century. St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint, St. Patrick, of Ireland.  St. Patrick died on March 17, 461. St. Patrick’s birth name was  Maewyn. He was born in Roman Britain and was then, kidnapped into slavery and was brought to Ireland. He ran away to a monastery in Gaul (France), and converted to Christianity. Patrick eventually became a bishop.  After his death he was named Ireland’s patron saint.

In the eighteenth century, Irish soldiers who  fought in the Revolutionary War held the first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade. When the Irish people emigrated to the United States, the Irish individuals made celebrations and parades known as what they are today.  The celebrations were established for Irish people connect to their roots after they moved to America. In the 17th century, St. Patrick’s Day developed into a range of festivals celebrating the Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and wearing many shades of green.

The most common traditions of  St. Patrick’s Day include the shamrock, dyeing the river green, and serving corn beef and cabbage. According to St. Patrick,  he used the three leaf clover to explain the trinity, thus the shamrock became an icon of St. Patrick. Dyeing the river green started in Chicago in 1962.  The city officials decided to dye a portion of the Chicago’s river green in celebration of the day. Corn beef and Cabbage is the traditional Irish American dish served on St. Patrick’s Day.  Irish Americans were poor, so they couldn’t buy expensive meats and vegetables.  On St. Patrick’s Day the only meal they could buy was beef and cabbage.

So, Redbank, what about dyeing the creek green this St. Patrick’s Day?   No?  I guess we can settle for eating corn beef and cabbage on Saturday!

 

Sources:

https://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day

http://www.gpb.org/education/origins-of-st-patricks-day

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