Patrick's Day celebration in NYC

Dean Simpson
March 19, 2018

"Pictures of Saint Patrick depict him driving the snakes out of Ireland with a cross in one hand and a sprig of shamrocks in the other". And I'm happy to say that us Episcopalians still treat St. Patrick with the respect he deserves, as March 17 is the feast day of St. Patrick here as well. "It was a religious day, not a day to be partying".

While the holiday, as celebrated in the USA, is largely an Irish cultural festival, it celebrates a man who is the patron saint of Ireland.

Speaking of parades, the first St. Patrick's Day parades were held in the USA, with the one in New York City dating back to 1762.

Poland going green for St. Patrick's Day

Thousands of people lined the streets of Dublin and New York City for the annual parades. Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland.

He escaped six years later and became a priest.

Since he came to Canada, Fitzgerald admits he enjoys the day "American style", celebrating with food and drinks at Irish clubs. In Ireland, people would commemorate the day by going to church in the morning and then would break the sacrifices of Lent during the afternoon by eating Irish bacon and cabbage.

"I think Irish people have created their own myth about themselves and they're trying to live up to their own myth", that Irish people are jolly, beer-swilling folk. The story goes that he banished them from the country by chasing them into the sea.

The holiday is celebrated by those both with and without Irish ancestry. President Truman, like me, claimed a rich Scots-Irish heritage. Some 6.3 million Irish people reside in Ireland, that rocky island west of Scotland and England, where the thick, charming brogue still resides in its purest state. It featured Irish soldiers serving in the English military.

"There's probably more music in pubs in P.E.I. than there is in Ireland", Fitzgerald said, pointing to the Olde Dublin Pub, The Old Triangle and the B.I.S. Many accounts say Patrick was never actually canonized a saint because there was no formal canonization process until the 13th century. If you manage to keep some and get it to grow, you will see the clover flowers emerge later in the year.

St. Patrick's Day was typically, according to tradition, a dry holiday.

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