Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?


Maggie Eubanks

Irish Americans are gearing up to celebrate this week for their patron saint’s holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. 

The U.S. will be dressed in green and gold on Thursday to go along with the parades and celebrations that will take place across the country. Children in schools will get “visits” from leprechauns and eat green foods, while adults will visit a local pub or go to a parade.

St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in Ireland as a day of feasting to honor their patron Saint Patrick who first brought Christianity to the country, according to Time. 

But this Irish version of Thanksgiving turned into a more festive holiday when the Irish came across the Atlantic to live in America. 

According to Insider, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in March of 1772 in New York City.

The holiday is celebrated on March 17 because it is the estimated date of when Saint Patrick died, and the Irish wanted to remember his life and what he did for their country. 

According to History.com, Irish immigrants who moved to America used St. Patrick’s Day to show national pride and gain political voting rights. 

Cities in the U.S. with a high Irish population have adopted St. Patrick’s Day as their own Independence Day. 

According to Georgia Public Broadcasting, cities like Boston and Chicago are known for their raucous parades. The parades are so famous even Ireland adopted the more celebratory traditions into their holiday, having their first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1909, according to Brittanica.

Many people try to find a four-leaf clover on St. Patrick’s Day because of the belief it will bring you good luck. But clovers are associated with the holiday because Saint Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the holy trinity in Christianity. 

Although the holiday holds no real significance to those that are not Irish, it is a fun day to celebrate the spirit and pride that the Irish people hold. 

So make sure you wear green this Thursday to celebrate your inner Irish.