History Of St. Patrick’s Day

Marita Tabbert, Student Jouranlist

Every year on March 17th, we celebrate St. Patricks Day for over 1,00 years. On this day it is heavily believed to wear green or you get pinched. But where did this idea come from? Well, this day falls on the Christian season of Lent. This ‘holiday’ came from a man who lived in the 15th century, Saint Patrick. He was a patron of Ireland. According to History.com, “he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16”. Although, he later escaped and soon returned to Ireland. This is when he started to bring Christianity to his people. Later after Saint Patrick’s death, Irish culture was increasingly influenced by the mythology around his life. The significance of the shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day came from St. Patrick when explained his belief that the Holy Trinity by using the three leaves. When St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated, it is believed that it was in the 10th century. Believe it or not, the first 

parade for St. Patrick’s day took place in America, not in Ireland. “Records show that a St. Patrick’s Day parade was held on March 17, 1601, in a Spanish colony in what is now St. Augustine, Florida”, claims History.com. St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, was honored in New York City on March 17, 1772, by homesick Irish soldiers serving in the English military. Over the next years, 35 years to be exact, the Irish patriotism among the Americans began to flourish. Having this influence, places like Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and Hibernian Society, also known as “Irish Aid”, would hold annual parades featuring drums and even bagpipes. St. Patrick’s Day parades were first held in New York City in 1848 when various Irish Aid societies decided to meld their parades into one grand event. Over 150,000 people participate today in that parade, which is the world’s oldest civilian parade. On the report of History.com, “nearly 3 million people line the 1.5-mile parade route to watch the procession, which takes more than five hours”. Within the past 2 years, these different parades have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many different cities created their own traditions for St. Patrick’s Day. One of these cities is Chicago. Every year Chicago will dye their river green. Interesting right? Now, although America was the first country to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, most, if not all, of the world celebrates it. Now, as we all know the leprechaun is the absolute symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, other than the shamrock of course. These folklore figures were originally known as “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellows”. Leprechauns are believed to be a part of the fairy family. History.com states that “In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies”. There are so many different things about St. Patrick’s Day. Possibly there could be parts of this “holidays” history that have not been discovered or left out.