Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t celebrated in Germany. I don’t celebrate it either except my son’s birthday is also on the 17th of March. I grew up in Chicago and there are always big parties on the 17th of March but I never went to any of them. Today is the 17th of March and Saint Patrick’s Day of course. Many Americans and the Irish celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. It isn’t a public holiday in the United States so why do people celebrate it?
What is Saint Patrick’s Day and how did it start?
Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday named after Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland and died on the 17th of March 493. Saint Patrick’s Day became an official feast day in the early 17th century and has evolved over time to be more of a celebration of the Irish culture. Saint Patrick is buried in Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down in Northern Ireland.
When did people start celebrating Saint Patrick?
Saint Patrick’s Day was being celebrated in the ninth century. In the early 1600s, Saint Patrick’s feast day became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. It became an official Irish public holiday in 1903.
Where is Saint Patrick’s Day celebrated?
Because it is a public holiday in Ireland, it is celebrated throughout the whole country of Ireland. The funniest celebration is in Dripsey, Cork, Ireland where they have a parade that is 100 yards long that travels between two pubs! The United States celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day but it isn’t an official holiday. Chicago dyes the Chicago River green every year in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. The first celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in the United States was in Boston in the thirteen colonies.
When I was in college, I worked for the post office in a Chicago suburb. One year, on the 18th of March, I was doing collections. I went from mailbox to mailbox, collecting the deposited mail. One mailbox was just yards away from a local bar. Someone had poured beer all over the mail inside the mailbox. The mail truck smelled like beer for the rest of the day. I’ll never forget that Saint Patrick’s Day!
How else is Saint Patrick’s Day celebrated in the United States?
March is proclaimed Irish-American Heritage Month by the U.S. Congress or President because of Saint Patrick’s Day. Many people wear something green on Saint Patrick’s Day. Indianapolis dyes its main canal green. Savannah dyes their city fountains green.
Boston celebrates Evacuation Day as a public holiday to remember the British departure from Boston. It is the same day as Saint Patrick’s Day and is likely a holiday as the two events are on the same day. There are other Saint Patrick’s Day parades throughout the United States.
Saint Patrick’s Day is the leading day of alcoholic consumption in the United States.
So raise a glass to the Irish today and celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day! Wear a little green and remember what they say in Ireland: “Everyone’s Irish on March 17th”