Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

The holiday season has been over for months now, as a majority of the key holidays only occur towards the end of the year; However, there are other holidays riddled throughout the year with one being Saint Patrick’s Day. 

Unbeknownst to most, the Irish holiday was originally known for its religious significance centuries ago. It’s celebrated every year on the 17th of March which marks the anniversary of the death of the Irish Saint and national apostle Patrick. It is taught that Patrick was kidnapped from Rome Britain and was held captive as a slave in Ireland. Luckily, he managed to escape, but returned years later. On his return he is hailed as introducing Christianity to the people of Ireland and explained the Holy Trinity by drawing a comparison to each of the leaves of the native Irish clover, the shamrock. 

What’s even more surprising is that the first Saint Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland but America instead. Although the tradition has been celebrated since the ninth century, extravagant traditions started in America. From then the tradition only grew at an unprecedented rate after homesick Irish soldiers marched in the streets of New York in order to honor their Irish patron Saint and other cities saw and began following in their footsteps. 

As for traditions the common ones include wearing an excessive amount of green, decorating yourself or your surroundings with leprechauns and shamrocks; holding musical gatherings while eating staple food items such as corned beef and cabbage, and of course the infamous game of pinching anyone who isn’t wearing green. Some traditions are so large where people throughout the state travel to go to, one famous tradition being the dyeing of the Chicago river. Originally, the plumbers of Chicago used a compound to trace illegal dumping of sewage in the river, but an unintended outcome was a beautiful green hue of the water. As a result, there is an annual event of dyeing the Chicago river green for a couple hours. On a more individual level something unique Ms. Doud does is eating corned beef with her family, but she also helps her kids set up traps for catching Leprechauns, and sets off the traps when they aren’t aware of it to make it look like the Leprechaun escaped their trap. 

What started out as a local religious feast quickly turned into a renowned holiday that’s celebrated all over the world. Saint Patrick’s Day offers an opportunity for friends and family to come together and celebrate one another and their heritage. For those of you that aren’t Irish or don’t participate in the holiday, hopefully you’ve seen the beauty of the holiday and might consider participating this year.

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