Origins of St. Patrick's Day

Origins of St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick spent over 30 years converting the people of Ireland to Christianity. People celebrate St. Patrick's Day on March 17th to commemorate his death on that day in 461 AD. What originally began as a religious feast celebrated in Ireland has become a secular holiday celebrating everything Irish in many countries around the world.

People celebrate St. Patrick's Day in many different ways. The most common way is to wear green. People who forget to wear their green may be in for a painful surprise as they are likely to be pinched. School children appear to be the originators of the pinching tradition and they diligently keep the tradition alive every year.

In addition to wearing green people may also adorn themselves with other symbols of the holiday like the Leprechaun and the Shamrock. The Shamrock has become a symbol of St. Patrick's Day because St. Patrick used its three leaves to demonstrate the Holy Trinity when converting the Irish.

Another St. Patrick's Day tradition is a parade. The first St. Patrick's Day Parade was held in New York City in 1762. Irish soldiers who were fighting for the English marched through New York to Irish music in a parade which made being far away from home a little easier.

Large St. Patrick's Day Parades and celebrations had become an annual tradition in many places throughout the world except Ireland. The Irish had celebrated the day as a religious feast but in 1995 the Irish government realized a holiday that celebrates being Irish would be good for tourism. Multiple day St. Patrick's Festivals are held in Ireland now and the festival in Dublin attracts over 1 million people. If you join in the celebration this year, just don't forget to wear your green.


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