Irish Traditions, St. Patricks Day

Saint Patrick’s Day – Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC

Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick

Who was Saint Patrick? 

Saint Patrick was a Christian missionary and is regarded as the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick lived from AD 373–493, and ministered in Northern Ireland from AD 433 until his death. Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, though post-glacial Ireland never actually had snakes. It is suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids. Saint Patrick is also credited with teaching the Irish about the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock and a three-leaved clover. Legend also says St. Patrick, while preaching Christianity, drew a cross through a Celtic circle symbolic of the moon Goddess. Hence the Celtic cross was born. Today the circle of the cross is viewed as a of God’s endless love.

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC

NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Irish-American immigrants brought Saint Patrick’s Day to the United States. The first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. The first celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756. Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated by Irish and non-Irish alike. Regardless of ethnic background, everyone wears green-colored clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched. The NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade has become the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the world, outside Ireland. In 2006 more than 150,000 marchers participated in it, including Irish bands, Irish firefighters, Irish military and Irish police groups, county associations, Irish emigrant societies, Emerald Societies, and social and Irish cultural clubs, and it was watched by close to two million spectators lining the streets.

An Irish Blessing for Saint Patrick’s Day

May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.
And may all the Irish angels,
Smile upon you on St. Patrick’s Day.

There is an old Irish Blessing

For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.

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