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Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a festive holiday and fun for everyone! To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, it is not unusual to see fans sporting green attire, green accessories in people’s hair, people drinking green beer, and even dogs with their fur dyed green. Many cities across the United States also have St. Patrick’s Day parades as part of the festivities. Have you ever wondered, “where does all of this come from?”
I thought I would do some research and find out more. You may be surprised at what I found out! Saint Patrick lived during the fifth century, and he was actually not Irish. He is considered the patron saint of Ireland, which means protector. St. Patrick’s Day is considered a Roman Catholic feast day. The reason St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th is because his death was said to be on March 17, 461 AD. Surprisingly, the knights in the “Order of St. Patrick” actually wore a shade of blue, not green. Knowing that, how did the color green end up being representative of St. Patrick’s Day? The thought is that in the “18th century the supporters of Irish independence used the color to represent their cause”.
Up until the 1700’s, St. Patrick’s Day was only observed in Ireland and believe it or not, it was more of a somber time. When the Irish immigrants brought the holiday to the United States, they turned it into more of a celebration with parades and events to show their pride. Interestingly, eating corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day was not even started in Ireland. A certain type of bacon was eaten on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, but when the Irish immigrants came to New York, they substituted corned beef to save money.
If you are looking for a unique celebration, Chicago has a tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green. At one point there was 100 pounds of green vegetable dye that was dumped into the river, and it was able to stay green for a week. More recently, they add less vegetable dye due to environmental reasons, so the river stays green for only a few hours.
Nowadays many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, even if they aren’t Irish. The day has become a day when people wear green, drink beer, eat corned beef and cabbage, and generally just have fun! At TK Homes, we wish you a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
~ Written by TK Homes REALTOR®, Mary Smith
» Cohen, Jennie. “St. Patrick's Day Legends and Myths Debunked.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 16 Mar. 2012, https://www.history.com/news/st-patricks-day-myths-debunked.
» History.com Editors. “History of St. Patrick's Day.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009, https://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/history-of-st-patricks-day.