Why execute we celebrate St Patrick"s Day and also who to be Saint Patrick? top top 17 March every year, millions note the classic feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint that Ireland. Here"s everything you should know about past celebrations – native the an initial ever St Patrick’s work parade come the history behind the classic dish the corned beef and cabbage…



Why do we storage St. Patrick’s Day? uncover the history behind the timeless feast work of Saint Patrick, marked on 17 March every year…


Who was Saint Patrick?

St. Patrick, the patron saint that Ireland, to be born Maewyn Succat come a Christian family in roman Britain in the late 4th century AD. Shortly before he was 16, Patrick was caught from the villa that his father, Calpurnius,by a team of ireland raiders that took him to Ireland and also forced him into slavery. Six years later on he escaped home to Britain, his spiritual faith strengthened throughout his time in slavery. Believing he had actually been called by God to Christianize Ireland, he later on returned come Ireland together a missionary that the Catholic church (adopting the name Patricius, or Patrick, which derives from the Latin for ‘father figure’). He played crucial role in convert the native Irish come Christianity, travelling about the country performing baptisms and confirmations.

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When to be St Patrick’s Day very first celebrated?

By the finish of the 7th century, St Patrick had come to be a legendary figure and also was venerated together a saint – although he was never ever formally canonised. Legends around St Patrick – which room still told this particular day – include the story the he journey the snake of Ireland right into the sea to their destruction, supposedly after they started attacking him throughout a 40-day fast. Organic historians have said that over there is no proof of snakes having ever before existed in Ireland, as the nation was as well cold during the Ice period for reptiles to survive. (Though, the course, plenty of have emphasize the metaphorical link in between the snake of the legend and also Patrick’s promotion of the Christian faith).


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A St Patrick’s job postcard depicts St Patrick was standing on cliff side, through blue robes, chasing the snakes indigenous Ireland. (Image by Jim Heimann Collection/Getty Images)
It wasn’t till the 1630s the 17 March, the classic day of St Patrick’s death, was added to the Catholic breviary (a publication of prayers) together the Feast of St Patrick. Through the so late 17th century, Irish human being were celebrate the work by attract crosses, ribbons or shamrocks – the last which St Patrick supplied (according to tradition) to define the ide of the holy Trinity come an ‘unbeliever’ by showing him the three-leaved plant through one stalk.

Why is the colour green associated with St Patrick’s Day?

Though environment-friendly dominates the celebrations today, it to be the color blue – a shade known as St Patrick’s blue – the was first associated with the saint. The more quickly depictions the St Patrick show him in blue garments, and the colour likewise appears on old Irish flags.



In 1541, once King Henry VIII was claimed the first English king of Ireland, he used a gold irish harp top top a blue flag for the irish coat the arms. The blue shade also appears top top the 18th-century order of St Patrick, an order of chivalry developed by George III.

As the blue symbols became an ext associated with English rule, green prospered in popularity together a price of rebellion. During the 1798 ireland Rebellion, the shamrock became a prize of nationalism and also the ‘wearing of the green’ top top lapels came to be regular practice.

When was St. Patrick’s Day very first celebrated?

Although Patrick to be venerated as a saint in Ireland native the saturday century the was never formally canonised. That wasn’t until the 1630s that 17 March, the classic day the his death, was included to the Catholic breviary (a book of prayers) as the Feast of St Patrick. Through the so late 17th century, Irish people were celebrate the job by attract crosses, ribbons or shamrocks (tradition had actually it that he had used the three-leafed plant to describe the holy Trinity).

These at an early stage celebrations that St Patrick’s job in Ireland were fairly low-key affairs. It take it emigrants, an especially to America, to start the revolution of St Patrick’s Day into the largely secular celebration commonly significant by boisterous revelry throughout the world. The huge events us see throughout the civilization today, with their banners and also music, deserve to trace their roots earlier to brand-new York in 1762 when Irish soldiers in the British army marched to a St Patrick’s day celebration v their band playing and their regimental colour flying.

Were these beforehand American parades expression of ireland nationalism?

No. Originally they to be dominated by Protestants faithful to Britain. It was only after American independence, the suppression of the 1798 irish Rebellion and the flood of ireland Catholic immigrants right into America in the mid-19th century that the ethos changed. Over there was additionally a change in colour together blue, traditionally linked with St Patrick, was gradually replaced with the Irish environment-friendly that defines the occasion today.

When walk the very first St. Patrick’s work parade take place?

The first parade has long been thought to it is in a small celebration by irish colonists, organized in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737. However, in 2018 chronicler J Michael Francis that the college of south Florida found evidence to suggest that, in march of 1601, residents of St Augustine in Spanish Florida gathered together and also processed v the city’s highways in honour the St Patrick, who appears to have served together the main ‘protector’ the the city’s maize fields.


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A St Patrick’s job parade on fifth Avenue, new York City, in 1909. (Photo through Universal history Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
In 2008, St Patrick’s Day spiritual celebrations in Ireland were relocated forward two days to 15 March because 17 in march 2008 dropped on the 2nd day of Easter Week, a celebration i m sorry takes priority over any kind of other feast days. In 1940, the religious celebrations that St Patrick’s work were likewise moved when the work clashed through Palm Sunday. However, secular celebrations normally take location on 17 March, regardless.

Why is corned beef, cabbage and potatoes the traditional fare of St. Patrick’s Day?

When he to be inaugurated top top 4 in march 1861, the 16th chairman of the unified States chose a meal of mock tortoise soup, complied with by corned beef and cabbage, a food traditionally associated with St Patrick’s work feasting.

Beef was no traditionally an ireland dish; it to be under British rule that the cow became farmed for meat. In the era of colonial rule, beef’s prohibitive expense in Ireland intended that the “became identified with the well-fed brother aristocracy and middle class.”

Later, through the development of ‘corned beef’ in the 17th century (and the ‘corn’ did not describe corn kernels however to the kernel-sized salt crystals offered to healing the beef) it was Ireland’s substantially reduced salt tax, and also not the beef itself, the cemented that reputation together an ireland export.

As large numbers of settlers relocated to America and gained greater prosperity, beef was back on the food selection – and once ireland Americans popularised St Patrick’s Day together a celebration, the corned beef and cabbage of your ancestors became the timeless fare of the day.

Why walk Chicago turn its river green throughout St. Patrick’s Day? and when did that start?


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The city of Chicago celebrate St Patrick’s job in 2012, through the tradition of dying its river green. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
The city of Chicago, Illinois, has coloured that river green to mark the holiday due to the fact that 1962. In 1961 sanitation employees realised the the environment-friendly vegetable dye they used to inspect for dumped sewer could dual as a St Patrick’s Day decoration – and therefore a tradition was born. It reportedly takes 40lbs that dye to attain the verdant hue, if the colour deserve to last anything indigenous a couple of hours to two days.

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Meanwhile, the Caribbean island of Montserrat stages its very own celebration that lasts between a week and 10 days each year, commemorating both the island’s ireland settler background (in 1678, more than half of the Caribbean island’s white populace was irish Catholic, consisting of labourers and also plantation owners) and additionally an unsuccessful slave uprising that emerged on 17 march 1768.