Saint Patrick's Day or the feast of Saint Patrick is celebrated on March 17 in Ireland. It is a religious celebration which sees a Christian feast in Ireland. St Patrick, who is the patron saint of Ireland passed away on March 17, 461. He made a tremendous contribution to establish monasteries, churches and schools as well. This day is an important celebration of all things Irish as it marks the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. The cities which have a lot of Irish immigrants have elaborate celebrations and take out a big parade. Lent 2019 Calendar With Dates Till Easter: What is Lent? Important Facts About the Christian Holy Season.
Saint Patrick's Day was made as an official Christian feast day in the 17th century. The day also celebrates the Irish heritage and culture. People offer religious service to St Patrick and organise a feast later. The day became a largely secular holiday mainly after the transformation given to it by the immigrants to the US.
History and Significance of St Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick was originally born in Roman Britain but he was kidnapped at the age of 16. He was taken to Ireland as a slave from where he escaped and returned to convert people to Christianity. He spent the rest of his life in Ireland preaching Christianity and baptizing. He built several churches here for the spread of religion. He passed away in County Down in 461 AD. Since then, St Patrick's Day is a day which marks spiritual renewal. He is known as Ireland's foremost saint. One of the legends of St Patrick states he drove away all the states out of Ireland. It is thus said that there are no snakes found in Ireland.
Facts About Celebrating the St Patrick's Parade
- The celebrations of St Patrick's Day were started by Luke Wadding, a Franciscan scholar. He made efforts to turn this day into a feast day. It became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in 1600s.
- The first St Patrick's Day parade wasn't held in Ireland but in the US at Boston. The first parade was held in the year 1737. The next 'official' parade started in New York in the year 1766.
- Dublin every year has a St Patrick's Parade which is a long celebration full of colour. There are vivid displays of theatre and bands. It goes on for not a day but 4 days. This year it is held from March 14- March 18.
- Everything goes green on St Patrick's Day, from buildings, rivers and bridges. All the structures are illuminated with green lightings.
So all over the world Irish diaspora ring in the celebrations of St Patrick's Day. There are parades, cultural events, carnivals organised to mark the big day. The day which has religious roots have over time evolved in a festive occasion of dancing, performing, drinking and joy.