St. Patrick’s Day: A History

Isabella Goates, Pawprint Staff Reporter

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, which means wearing green not to get pinched; talk of leprechauns and gold coins and lots of rainbows! St. Patrick’s Day may not be the most celebrated holiday worldwide, but it has an exciting story, just like many holidays.

St. Patrick’s Day began with the death of St. Patrick, on March 17th, 461. St. Patrick was a man credited for bringing Christianity to the Irish people, and so to celebrate their Christianity, they made a holiday on the death of their missionary. On this day, prohibitions on meat were lifted for just a day. When people came back from their morning masses, they would celebrate and eat a traditional meal of bacon and cabbage.

That was all St. Patrick’s Day was for until Irish immigrants started coming to the United States. A great sense of homesickness made the people create a new St. Patrick’s Day, the one known today, which changed and morphed into a celebration of Irish patriotism for people living in the U.S.

Many celebrations and traditions have taken place on St. Patrick’s Day. There are many different St. Patrick’s Day parades around the world, and one of the biggest is the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Another is the pollution-inducing dyeing green of the Chicago River. The dye goes on for a few hours, enough for the people to see this strange and environmentally-damaging phenomenon. 

Even though modern St. Patrick’s day traditions started in the U.S., Ireland celebrates St. Patrick’s day. They’ve changed it up and have been more lenient on the religious part since it is an excellent promotion for tourism on their part. Now St. Patrick’s day is more parades and fun than what it initially was-a call for Christianity in Ireland.