History of St Patrick’s Day

by Lois Etienne on March 16, 2013

in Holiday,Holidays,Lifestyle

Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.

Since around the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick on March 17. Interestingly, however, the first parade held to honor St. Patrick’s Day took place not in Ireland but in the United States. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.

st-pats-dayFun Facts:
In Chicago, on St. Patrick’s Day, the rivers are dyed green. Mayor Daley is also of Irish descent.

In Seattle, there is a ceremony where a green stripe is painted down the roads.

Many people wear green on this holiday to avoid being pinched.

34 million Americans have Irish ancestry, according to the 2003 US Census. That’s almost nine times the population of Ireland, which has 4.1 million people.

Nine of the people who signed our Declaration Of Independence were of Irish origin, and nineteen Presidents of the United States proudly claim Irish heritage — including our first President, George Washington.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest number of leaves found on a clover is 14.

One estimate suggests that there are about 10,000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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