St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every year on the 17th of March because it is the day they believe St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in 461 AD.
St. Patrick’s day began as a religious holiday to honor the saint for bringing Christianity to Ireland. A lot of legends have developed around the life of St. Patrick, but perhaps most notable was his use of the clover, or shamrock, if you prefer; he used each of the 3 leaves to explain the trinity.
Ironically, the very first St. Patty’s day parade actually didn’t happen in Ireland -but in New York City back in 1762, when Irish soldiers serving the English military joined together and marched down the street to Irish music. Moreover, one of the biggest celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day takes place in Chicago where they dye the Chicago River green, a tradition taking place since 1962. Other big celebrations are held in Boston, Philadelphia, and NYC.
On any given day 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the famous Irish stout brand, are consumed around the world. On St. Patrick’s Day however, that number doubles to 13 million pints.
Leprechauns are often associated with this holiday. However, originally the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day did not have anything to do with these mythical creatures. It was not until Walt Disney released a film called Darby O’Gill & the Little People, which introduced America to a very different sort of leprechaun than the cantankerous little man of Irish folklore. This cheerful, friendly leprechaun is purely an American invention; however, it has quickly evolved into an easily recognizable symbol of both St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland in general.
Oh, and of course, wear something green or you might get pinched (;