March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Did you know there are over one hundred St. Paddy’s day parades held in the United States each year? The very first parade was actually held in the United States on March 17, 1762. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through the streets of New York City to celebrate their Irish heritage.
St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most celebrated Christian holidays in the entire world. The holiday was created to honor the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Even though this is a widely recognized Irish holiday, many people do not know that St. Patrick was not even Irish. He was born in Scotland and captured by Irish invaders as a 16 year old boy. He was held captive in Ireland for six years before he escaped; only to return there several years later to spread Christianity throughout the country. By the time of his death, St. Patrick had baptized tens of thousands of people and created hundreds of churches in Ireland. The holiday is marked on the anniversary of his death, March 17 460 A.D.
In today’s society, St. Patrick’s Day is a big celebration, especially in cities with large Irish populations. Big cities and small towns all across the country celebrate this day. Two of the largest parades take place in Boston, Massachusetts and New York City. Wearing green, enjoying Irish cuisine, and attending parades are just a few of the most common St. Patrick’s Day traditions. Some communities even go so far as to dye entire rivers green!