St. Patrick’s Day: A Holiday Full of History and Celebration

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On March 17th millions will wear green and celebrate the Irish culture with parades, good cheer, and, possibly, a pint of beer.SaintPatrick’s Day, also known as the Feast of St. Patrick, is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated every March 17th. The holiday is celebrated on this day because it is the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death. The holiday was made an official feast day in the seventeenth century; today it has become a holiday where Irish culture is celebrated as a whole across the world.

The original color associated with St. Patrick’s Day used to be blue. The color green, as seen in green ribbons and shamrocks,was worn in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day as early as the middle seventeenth century. Saint Patrick was said to have used a shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of the shamrock has become a staple of the holiday ever since. The holiday was a strict religious holiday until the youth of Ireland and Irish-Americans started generating the partying persona and drinking associated with Saint Patrick’s Day. The first St. Patrick’s Day festival was held on March 17th, 1996. The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City attracts close to 675,000 people each year. Even those who aren’t Irish take part in the parade and festivities.

The holiday also has a reputation for a very heavy emphasis on alcohol consumption. Although not an official US holiday, is still widely celebrated by people across the country. Khalil Khalfan, a senior finance major, explains how he celebrates St. Patrick’s Day, “I love the holiday, it a time where me and my long time friends always get together, and attend the big parade in the city. It’s a fun day filled with celebrating Irish heritage and drinking.” Garret Kemp, a junior finance major on campus also elaborates on the holiday, “St. Patrick’s Day is always one of my favorite holidays to celebrate, itbrings my friends together and achance to celebrate everything that’s Irish.” The annual NYC parade attracts loads of young adults looking to celebrate Irish heritage, both with pride by wearing all green, and by alcohol consumption. While drinking may be the most popular way to celebrate the holiday, there are also plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday responsibly. Attending a Saint Patrick’s Day event or parade, eating traditional Irish food, playing some Irish music, learning to Irish dance, or simply staying home away from the bar scene are safe, responsible ways to enjoy the day.

This Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone is encouraged to be responsible and act accordingly. There is an array of events supporting the holiday that one can attend alternatively without overdoing drinking on the holiday. Events like luncheons, dinners, meetings, and local parades are just a few. The big, annual New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on March 16th this year and will start on Fifth Avenue and 44th street. For more information on the parade and the parade route visit:www.nyc.go.com/event/st-patrick’s-day-parade.

Saint Patrick’s Day is a deeply religious and historical holiday, important to American and Irish culture alike, bringing together a celebration of all things Irish, its deep heritage, and the holiness of the holiday.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day: A Holiday Full of History and Celebration