St. Patrick’s Day’s history: The Day of the Irish

Ahhh, the month of March with its saying, “It goes in like a lion, out like a lamb,” and no one knows more than Chicagoans that this saying is true. But March also has one of the biggest celebrations, St. Paddy’s Day, where the Irish all around the world celebrate their heritage and culture. It is also the day where the color green and orange appear in every outfit. But what exactly is this holiday and what are some of the customs associated with this holiday? Let’s take a look below… 

Who’s St. Patrick: St. Patrick, otherwise known as St. Paddy, lived during the fifth century. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and to all its people. A well-known myth is that he explained the Holy Trinity with the native clover’s three leaves, otherwise known as the shamrock. He happens to be the patron saint of Ireland, with St. David being that of Wales, St. Andrew of Scotland, and St. George of England.

The First Celebration: During the ninth or tenth century, people all over Ireland began to celebrate St. Patrick on March 17th. Also, during the year 1762, Irish soldiers who served in the English army celebrated their patron saint by hosting a parade in New York City, to remember their roots.

Customs: Today, millions all over the world celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. One of the most famous examples is Chicago’s annual dyeing the river green (it takes place on March 14th), where Chicagoans and tourists gather round to watch Lake Michigan turn green. Today, people dress up in green and orange, eat Irish soda bread and corned beef, and attend parades. Also common symbols for this day are pots of gold at the end of the rainbow and leprechauns.

What started off as a religious holiday in Ireland eventually turned out to be a celebration of Irish heritage all over the world. What will you do to partake in this holiday? 

Historic information from The History Channel.