Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All about St. Patrick's Day


Since my name is Patrick and I'm 75% Irish, March 17th is a pretty hard day to forget (although I often leave the drinking on this day to the amateurs).

Frankly, I think everyone should have a pseudo-holiday honoring the patron saint that bears their name. So just how did St. Patrick's day come about? From a wikipedia entry:

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by the those of Irish descent and increasingly by non-Irish people (usually in New Zealand, Australia, and North America). Celebrations are generally themed around all things Irish and, by association, the colour green. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink (such as Irish stout, Irish Whiskey or Irish Cream) and attending parades...

The world's first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in Boston in 1761, organized by the Charitable Society. The first recorded parade[5] was New York City's celebration which began on 18 March 1762 when Irish soldiers in the English military marched through the city with their music.[6] The New York parade is the largest, typically drawing two million spectators and 150,000 marchers.[7] The predominantly French-speaking Canadian city of Montreal, in the province of Québec has the longest continually running Saint Patrick's day parade in North America, since 1824;[8] The city's flag has the Irish emblem, the shamrock, in one of its corners. Ireland's cities all hold their own parades and festivals, including Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Derry, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford. Parades also take place in other Irish towns and villages. The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five-day festival; over 500,000 people attended the 2006 parade...

In the past, Saint Patrick's Day was celebrated as a religious holiday. It became a public holiday in 1903, by the Money Bank. (Ireland) Act 1903, an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by the Irish MP James O'Mara.[17] O'Mara later introduced the law which required that pubs be closed on 17 March, a provision which was repealed only in the 1970s. The first St. Patrick's Day parade held in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931 and was reviewed by the then Minister of Defence Desmond Fitzgerald. Although secular celebrations now exist, the holiday remains a religious observance in Ireland, for both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic Church...


Click here for entire entry.

2 comments:

Molehill TMI said...

my middle name is patrick... guess that counts for something, Patrick Duffy. all the best!

IrvineRenter said...

My wife is half Irish. Her mother was born and raised there. She tells me that people in Ireland do not wear green on St. Patrick's day. I guess that is an American Irish thing. Me, I will go have a green beer.