A short history of St. Patrick’s day (As featured on www.slotomagazine.com)
Today millions around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s day but few know the origins of such a celebrated tradition. On March 17th the streets in many cosmopolitan cities such as New York and Chicago will harbor hundreds of thousand participants, as they march through a city painted green.
But how did it all begin?
It has to begin with the man himself, St. Patrick who, contrary to commonsense, was not born in Ireland but in Britain that was under control by the Roman Empire. He was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland where he converted to Christianity and spent much of his life there as a missionary.
Did you know that St. Patrick was not born in Ireland?
He died on March 17th, 461 AD to be forgotten for centuries, until legend and myth grew around his name and Ireland adopted him as its patron saint. A common legend tells of St. Patrick’s great influence in Ireland by driving away all snakes from the island.
St. Patrick is reputed to have taught about the Holy Trinity with the three leaves of a shamrock (or three-leafed clover). In the 18th century Irish folk starting wearing shamrocks on their coats, to honor their Irish and Christian origins. Soon after, the Irish starting wearing entire suits in green.
In the 1840’s there was a dreadful famine in Ireland, forcing many to migrate to the United States of America. Over half a million Irish reached New York harbors in this period known as the Potato Famine.
With a strong Irish community in New York, the first St. Patrick’s parade was celebrated there in 1762. Today it is the Big Apple’s largest parade with over 200,000 people participating in the parade while enjoyed by close to 3 million spectators!
As many as 90% of Americans celebrate this date every year!
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