History of St. Patrick’s day

Nowadays, St. Patrick’s day is when people wear green, drink beer, and pretend to be Irish. Leprechauns, shamrocks, and rainbows abound. The original holiday was Irish, but it has little else in common with what we celebrate today. 

According to Britannica, it actually started out as a religious celebration of St. Patrick. He was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave, but he later escaped. In the end, he returned to Ireland to convert them to Christianity. He established many schools, churches and monasteries and people celebrated with feasts and religious services. 

The holiday, as we know it today, was carried over to the United States by Irish immigrants and gradually became a celebration of Ireland and a day of revelry. Cities with large concentrations of Irish immigrants host elaborate parades, ever since the first one took place in Boston in 1737. A famous example of an all-out celebration is in Chicago where they have dyed their river green since 1962. 

Here are some more facts about The patron saint of Ireland and his special day, according to ProFlowers.

  • It is a national holiday in Ireland. Banks and schools are closed.
  • The Shamrock is the national flower of Ireland. 
  • The odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000.
  • Rather than green, the original color associated with St. Patrick’s day was blue.