100+ St. Patrick’s Day Recipes & History Of St. Patrick’s Day
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St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th, commemorates St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
St. Patrick is believed to have brought Christianity to Ireland. He was born in Britain, around 387 C.E. When he was sixteen years old, he was captured by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland as a slave.
During his captivity, he became a Christian and, after six years of servitude, he escaped and returned to Britain. However, he felt called to return to Ireland to spread Christianity and spent many years traveling throughout the country, preaching and converting the pagan peoples to Christianity.
St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leafed clover, to explain the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity. This is why the shamrock has become a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. (The name shamrock comes from Irish seamróg, which means “young clover.”)
The first St. Patrick’s Day parade is believed to have taken place in New York City in 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the British army marched through the streets. The parade became an annual event in New York City and subsequently in other cities with large Irish populations, such as Boston and Chicago.
In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was originally a religious holiday, and the first official St. Patrick’s Day parade there did not take place until 1931, in Dublin.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds around the world, with parades, festivals, and other events that often involve wearing green, drinking beer (which may be coored green), and enjoying Irish food and music.
As an aside, corned beef and cabbage, often served in the U.S. on St. Patrick’s Day, is a dish brought to New York by Jewish immigrants in the 19th century. It is not consumed in Ireland.