Most people know St. Patrick’s day by three trademarks: three leaf clovers, the color green, and parades with beads. They also know that they have to wear green, or they will get pinched! However, what most people do not know, is the rich history behind this holiday!
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated to remember the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain, but, at the age of 16, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but later returned to Ireland and spread Christianity throughout the country. He died on March 17, 461. The most well-known legend surrounding him is that he used the Three-leaf clover to represent the Holy Trinity, hence why the clover is a symbol for St. Patrick’s Parade today.
The Irish have celebrated this holiday for over 1,000 years. In the past, St Patrick’s was held during lent, and the Irish would attend church in the morning, and then celebrate at night, waiving aside the rules of lent.
The first parade held for St. Patrick’s day was actually held in New York in 1762. It helped the Irish that were there to connect with their roots. One cool tradition is that every year residents of Chicago dye the Chicago River green to celebrate.
Although it was primarily an Irish holiday, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many different countries, including Japan, Australia, and, of course, the United States. To get more information on the history of St. Patrick’s day and how it is celebrated around the world, visit http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/history-of-st-patricks-day.
Springfield, Illinois holds a parade for St. Patrick’s day annually. This is the 34th annual year of this parade, and this year the theme is “ShamRock ‘n Roll.” The Lanphier Band performs in it every year as well, playing the song Irish Spectacular. There is a countdown to this year’s parade on this website if you are interested in going : http://www.springfieldirish.org/. Also, if you want to get involved in this parade, the people that run the parade are looking for volunteers to help judge floats, be parade marshals, general coordinators, and staging area coordinators. If you plan on watching the parade as a spectator, here is a link with the parade’s route to help you get the best seat possible for the parade: http://www.springfieldirish.org/paraderoute/.