Everyone loves St. Patrick's Day. You are able to party, drink and be with your loved ones. It is a great holiday to remind yourself of who you are, no matter what nationality. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17. This is his feast day and the anniversary of his death, which was in the fifth century. St. Patrick is also the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish have looked at this day as a day of holiness for over 1,000 years. It occurs during the season of lent. Traditionally, Irish families would attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon.
The St. Patrick's Day traditions came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick's Day was publicly celebrated in America. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. This helped these men to reconnect with their Irish roots. Over the next 40 years, Americans became intrigued by Irish patriotism. Americans prompted the rise of "Irish Aid", which held annual parades featuring bagpipes and drums. Later in 1848, there were several New York Irish Aid Societies. They all got together and decided to have one big St. Patrick's Day parade. Today, that parade is the world's oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants. Each year, almost 3 million people line the 1.5 mile parade route to watch the procession, which lasts around 5 hours. Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Savannah also throw parades with between 10,000 and 20,000 participants.
In Chicago, every year on March 17, people take part in dyeing the Chicago River green. The tradition started in 1962 when city pollution control realized that green dye could be a fun way to celebrate the holiday. That year they put about 100 pounds of green vegetable dye in the river, which happened to make the river green for an entire week. Now, they only put about 40 pounds of dye into the river to reduce damage to the environment. Chicago historian's claim that it was their idea to dye the Chicago River green, but some Savannah Natives believed that they came up with the idea in their town. They point out that in 1961, Tom Wolley, the mayor of Savannah, had plans to dye a river by them green for St. Patrick's Day. There happened to be rough waters that day so they could not dye the river green. They never tried again.
Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of all different backgrounds in the United States, Canada, and Australia. St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated in other locations such as Japan, Singapore and Russia. North America is home to the largest productions. Many people believe that this holiday is just meant for partying with your friends and drinking. However, St. Patrick's Day should mean a lot more to everyone. It should remind us of where we came from and to be proud of it. Although St. Patrick's Day was founded by a man in Ireland, America loves to join in on the fun too!
"St. Patrick's Day." Www.history.com. 2010. Web. 17 Mar. 2010.