St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated all around the world by the Irish and people from all races and ethnic backgrounds.
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, on the day of St. Patrick’s death. It’s fun day filled with parades, shamrocks, the Blarney Stone, and green colored beer.
In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated for thousands of years. On this festive day, Ireland families go to church in the morning and enjoy a large feast, then dance and party all day and night.
But who was St. Patrick and what’s the history of St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick was born in Great Britain in 387 A.D. to wealthy parents. His real name is actually Maewyn Succat. He received the name St. Patrick later in life by Pope Celestine.
St. Patrick was a Christian saint and a priest in Ireland who converted the Irish to Christianity.
St. Patrick was just 16 years old when he was suddenly captured by Irish raiders and taken captive. St. Patrick was taken by the Irish raiders to Ireland. There he turned into a slave and forced to work in the fields for 6 years.
While St. Patrick was held captive for those 6 years, he turned to religion for help and became closer to god through his prayers.
According to his writings, St. Patrick had a dream telling him to leave Ireland. Escaping captivity, St. Patrick escaped reportedly walked about 200 miles to the Irish coast, then back to Great Britain.
When St. Patrick returned to Great Britain, he was greeted by his many friends. Rather than enjoying his freedom and relaxing, St. Patrick went to an monastery to become a priest.
St. Patrick then experienced another dream, directing him to return to Ireland as a missionary. After spending 15 more years of religious training, St. Patrick went back to Ireland. There he focused on converting the Irish to Christianity as well as helping the Christians already in Ireland to become closer to god.
After St. Patrick realized that the Irish wouldn’t convert to Christianity right away, he integrated ancient Irish cultures into his Christianity teachings.
St. Patrick lived the rest of his life in Ireland and worked as a missionary. St. Patrick died on March 17, 460 A.D at the age of 76. Hence, it’s why the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.
The first St. Patrick’s day parade in the United States took place in 1762. Irish soldiers who served in the U.S. army, proudly marched down the streets of New York City.
Later on, the parades added traditional Irish music, including the world famous bagpipes and drums. The potato famine hit Ireland in 1845. Many poor Irish immigrants began immigrating to the U.S. in the early 1900s, and the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations grew in size and popularity.
Today, the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade is held annually in New York City.