Saint Patrick’s Day In America
One of the special celebrations that kick starts the New Year is St Patrick’s Day which like everything else is celebrated on a massive scale in America.Before immigrating to USA I didn’t know anything about St Patrick.The only other Irish I knew was George Bernand Shaw. To clarify, I am not a Catholic or Irish but I believe St Patrick to be my patron Saint. So, I whole heartedly join in the celebrations on St Patrick’s Day. Americans like to do things lavishly & St Patrick’s Day celebrations are no different. But who was St Patrick?
Who was Saint Patrick?
St Patrick lived in 5th century. He was a Romano-British Christian Missionary. As such St Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and probably responsible in part for the Christianization of the Picts and Anglo-Saxons.
Subsequently Saint Patrick came to be known as the “Apostle of Ireland”.
He is also known only for two short works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Letter to Coroticus, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.
But apart from being a Missionary and having written two short books St Patrick is also credited for Miracles.
What is Saint Patrick famous for?
Saint Patrick is famous for many Miracles that happened.
For example legend has it, St Patrick drove out the snakes from Ireland, raised the dead & prayed for hungry sailors. Personally I consider St Patrick my Patron Saint for getting me my two most important jobs.
Most important legend is that of the shamrock, where St Patrick explains the concept of the Holy Trinity, three persons in one God, to an unbeliever by showing him the three-leaved plant with one stalk.
Is St Patrick a Catholic saint?In spite of having done so much for Christianity in Ireland the sad fact is that St Patrick has never been canonized by the Catholic Church and is a Saint in name only.Sad though it is that St Patrick has never been canonized St Patrick's Day is… Click To Tweet
When is Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrated?
Saint Patrick’s Day is observed on 17 March, the supposed date of St Patrick’s death. It is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation, it is also a celebration of Ireland itself.
Irish and non-Irish alike commonly participate in the “wearing of the green”—sporting an item of green clothing or a shamrock, the Irish national plant, in the lapel.
St Patrick’s Day Celebrations in the USA fun facts
It were the Irish immigrants to the United States, who transformed St. Patrick’s Day into a largely secular holiday of revelry and celebration of things Irish. Cities with large numbers of Irish immigrants, who had political power, staged the most extensive celebrations, which included elaborate parades.
- Boston held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737, followed by New York City in 1762.
- The first recorded parade in New York was by Irish soldiers in the British Army in 1766.
- Chicago has colored its river green to mark the holiday since 1962.
- The first US president to attend a St Patrick’s Day Parade was Truman. The 33rd President of the United States, attended a St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City.
- The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City is one of the oldest & the largest parades in the United States.
- One of the most iconic St. Patty’s celebrations is in Chicago, where for nearly six decades, thousands have flocked to the banks of the Chicago River to watch it turn green. The dyeing of the river is heralded as the kick-off to Chicago’s St. Patty’s Day festivities.
- Catholics wear green but Protestants wear orange on St Patrick’s Day.
There Are a Few Reasons We Wear Green on St Patrick’s Day
Have you heard the expression “St. Patrick’s Blue.”So, when did it change to green?
• One of the reasons green replaced blue was because of Ireland’s nickname, The Emerald Isle.
• St. Patrick is thought to have used green shamrocks to teach people about the Holy Trinity.
• Then there are Leprechauns who are actually one reason you’re supposed to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day—or risk getting pinched!
The tradition is tied to folklore that says wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns, which likes to pinch anyone they can see.
The Irish Americans would wear the green as a reminder that they were nationalists first and foremost. The colors of the Irish flag are green, white and orange, the green symbolizing the Irish nationalism.Elizabeth Stack, executive director of Albany’s Irish American Heritage Museum and Brian Witt, the cultural exhibits coordinator for Milwaukee Irish Fest.
St. Patrick’s Day Traditions That Will Bring You Luck
• “Drowning the shamrock”
Traditionally, the shamrock was dunked into a glass of whiskey, the whiskey was then drunk, and the shamrock at the bottom of the glass thrown over the drinker’s left shoulder,”
says Christine Kinealy, PhD, director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute and professor of history at Quinnipiac University.
• “Letting the devil out” of Irish soda bread
If you want to keep to the traditional Irish soda bread recipe, use only four ingredients: flour (often whole-meal flour), baking soda (called “bread soda” in Ireland), buttermilk, and salt.
But for the bread to be lucky, you have to cut a cross on the top “to let the devil out,” as well as to release steam during cooking, a superstition that both the Irish and Irish Americans hold In both Christian and pagan (Celtic) traditions, the cross is meant to ward off the devil and protect the household.says Christine Kinealy, PhD, director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute and professor of history at Quinnipiac University.
• Looking for four-leaf clovers
The shamrock, which has three leaves, and the four-leaf clover aren’t the same thing. Since they are so rare, finding one makes one feel lucky.
• Wearing o’ the green
The color remained symbolic for Irish nationalism leading up to the country’s independence in 1922.
• Pinching those not wearing green
Tradition says you can pinch someone on St. Patrick’s Day who isn’t wearing green—but this may be an Americanization, not a true Irish custom
• Eating green food?
Kinealy says. “American celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day likely use green food and drink to celebrate the ‘greenness’ of Ireland, i.e. the Emerald Isle.”
So forget the green beer—if you want to imbibe the Irish way, sample some of the thick Irish stout called Guinness.
• Staying sober
Until the 1970s pubs were closed in Ireland on St. Paddy’s Day, and celebrations usually included a trip to church.
In a strange reversal of tradition, the Irish government was actually inspired by American celebrations to create a multi-day St. Patrick’s festival in 1995 to boost tourism.
• Eating Irish bacon
On St. Patrick’s Day, cured pork (Irish bacon) was more likely to be eaten in Ireland. Corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day is an American adaptation of the holiday.
Gifts For St Patrick’s Day Celebrations
St Patricks Day Inflatable Leprechaun Pot of Gold$109.99
St. Patrick’s Day -Square Favor Gift Boxes (12)$15.99
Hallmark St. Patricks Day Card for Friend (Pot of Gold)$2.99
Irish Shamrock St. Patrick’s Day Clover Men’s Hoodie$31.95
The Holy Bible, King James Version (LDS Edition) by Church of Jesus Christ of LDS$25.99
To conclude Saint Patrick’s Day is an ode to the memory of a great Saint who though not canonized is revered by Irish around the world. Irish Americans have taken the celebrations of Saint Patrick’s Day to another level in the USA. I will miss participating in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Seattle but I ‘ll definitely be wearing green & eating this corn beef & cabbage. Being a LDS I don’t drink beer but will be getting Mcdonald’s Shamrock shake that’ll ruin my WW points but that’s ok.Do let me know your favorite recipe for Paddy's Day Click To Tweet
How did you celebrate St Patrick’s Day this year?