The Irish have celebrated the anniversary of Saint Patrick’s death (in the fifth century) for over 1000 years as a religious holiday on 17th March . As Saint Patrick’s Day falls within Lent and is a celebration the usual traditional Lent restriction are lifted for the day and the traditional meal is Irish bacon and cabbage.
Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain during the fifth century, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland at the age of 16. He escaped, but return to Ireland and is believed to introduced Christianity to the people of Ireland.
The first Saint Patrick’s Day parade took place in 1762 when the Irish serving with the English military marched through New York.
Over the next 35 years the Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, the parade grew and is today the world ‘s oldest civilian parade.
During the mid nineteenth century many Irish fled to American during the Great Potato Famine to escape starvation. Uneducated, with unfamiliar accents it was almost impossible to find work. The American Irish soon realised the political potential and organised the ‘green machine’. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman attended the New York City ‘s St. Patrick’s Day parade and was a proud moment for many American Irish fighting typical stereotypes.
America has many traditions celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day, one being the annual dyeing of the Chicago River green. The practice started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realised that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river–enough to keep it green for a week! Today, in order to minimize environmental damage, only 40 pounds of dye are used, and the river turns green for only several hours.
Here in the UK Saint Patrick’s Days is not a holiday and is a fairly normal day unless there is a large Irish population and celebrations will be organised.
- Why Green for Saint Patrick’s Day (foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com)
- How to Make a Guinness Milkshake for Saint Patrick’s Day (laist.com)
- Saint Patrick’s Day (helenaroquet.wordpress.com)
- Top tips for celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day 2013 (seattlepi.com)
- Confessions of a Saint Patrick’s Day Snob (thedogsofbeer.wordpress.com)