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  • Ben Walz

What You Probably Don't Know about St. Patrick's Day

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

St. Patrick was a man who originally lived in a colony of the Roman Empire that is now Britain, according to History.com. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish raiders. Later, he escaped slavery and returned home.


He became a priest, and then returned to Ireland, where he started to spread Christianity to the Irish, most of which then celebrated Celtic traditions. According to one story, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain The Holy Trinity. As a result, people started wearing shamrocks to show their Christian pride. From there, it evolved into wearing green.


Legend has it that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. But there is a problem with that legend. There were never snakes in Ireland in the first place because the emerald isle is too cold for the snakes to migrate there.


St. Patrick died on March 17th, now known as St. Patrick's Day, in the year 461.


You might think that the St. Patrick's Day Parade was first celebrated in Ireland, but if so, you're wrong. The first St. Patrick's Day Parade may have taken place in 1601 in St. Augustine, Fla. These parades became more common place in cities across the United States after homesick Irish soldiers marched to a pub on St. Patrick's Day in 1762 in New York City.


The parades caught on about the time of the Irish Potato Famine, when millions of Irish immigrants came to the United States.


Now, the parade in New York City boasts up to 200,000 participants and 3 million spectators each year, at least it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. Irish greyhounds lead the parade each year.

Image by Mitzi Mandel from Pixabay

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