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The History Behind St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every year on March 17, the anniversary of the saint’s death in the fifth century. Saint Patrick was born in what is now Britain. He was enslaved when he was 16 years old and was brought to Ireland. The Irish have observed this day as a religious day for the past 1000 years. Today this holiday is celebrated by people from all over the world including North America, Japan, Singapore, Russia, and other countries around the world.
Who was Saint Patrick?
Saint Patrick was a patron saint of Ireland that brought Christianity to Ireland after he was kidnapped from Roman Britain and brought to Ireland. He later escaped but was brought back when he was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. The well-known legend of Saint Patrick was that he explained the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – using the three native Irish clover leaves. It is believed that he died on March 17, 461.
How does Ireland celebrate it?
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. The parade and a St. Patrick’s Day celebration a year earlier were organized by the Spanish Colony's Irish vicar Ricardo Artur. More than a century later, the English military marched celebrating the holiday in New York to honor the Irish patron saint. In Ireland, it is celebrated with a carnival parade, live music, and Irish dancing all throughout the city’s bars. While there is heavy use of the color green around the world, there is also food that most people eat such as cabbage and corned beef.
How does America celebrate it?
When the great potato famine hit Ireland in 1845, close to 1 million uneducated and poor Irish Catholics immigrated to America to escape starvation. When Irish Americans took to the streets on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate their holiday, American newspapers pictured them as cartoons who are drunk and violent monkeys. Additionally, as the numbers of Irish Americans kept growing in the United States, President Harry S. Truman in 1948, attended New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. This moment was really special for many Irish Americans whose ancestors had to fight racial prejudice to finally find acceptance in the new world.

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