Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day: A Look Back at the Origins


| LAST UPDATE 03/14/2023

By Stanley Wickens
St. Patrick's Day history origins
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St. Patrick’s Day is an important annual celebration for Irish people around the world, observed annually on March 17th - the day of Saint Patrick’s passing in the fifth century. It is believed that Irish families have been celebrating this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years - special allowances were made to enjoy a traditional meal of bacon and cabbage while still observing Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat. Here's a look.

Saint Patrick himself was born in Roman Britain yet is credited with bringing Christianity to Irish people after his return from slavery at age sixteen. His name is associated with numerous legends, though perhaps one most famously known is that he used three leaves of a native clover (the shamrock) to explain the complex concept of The Holy Trinity. Today St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are very popular in America, with more than 100 parades held each year, many of which feature bagpipes and drums - New York City hosts one of the largest parades drawing three million spectators every year since its beginnings two centuries ago. Its famous march started out as several separate parades among homesick Irish soldiers before uniting into one official event back in 1848! Other cities like Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Savannah also celebrate this holiday proudly with their own large-scale marches involving thousands upon thousands every year.

St. Patrick's Day holiday
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But it wouldn't be a proper St. Paddy's Day without mention of the leprechaun! Standing as an icon for all things fun and comical about this cherished holiday, their roots come from Celtic folklore as small-bodied men who had mischievous tendencies or could use their magical powers for either good or bad deeds - though mending shoes seemed to be their primary job! These days, American celebrations often include images or replicas of these figures who, despite often fabricating stories about hidden pots of gold at the end of rainbows, remain liked all around the world!

Whether it’s joining in on festive apparel such as wearing emerald green clothing or enjoying a meal full of Irish favorites like stew and soda bread - St.Patrick’s Day remains an international tradition to look forward to each year on March 17th!

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