Saint Patrick’s Day, which was once celebrated rather quietly in Irish communities and by select Catholics has grown into a major international holiday. Now, Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated everywhere from Japan to South Korea, to Russia, to the United States to the International Space Station! With millions of people gathering together in parades and other celebrations, a question springs to mind: What is Saint Patrick’s Day all about? What are we celebrating? Who was Saint Patrick? Let’s find out!
Who Was Saint Patty?
Saint Patrick grew up in Roman occupied Britain. As a young boy, he was captured by Irish raiders and kept as a slave. When he finally gained his freedom, he joined the Catholic church. Years later he returned to Ireland to serve as a missionary. Legend has it that Saint Patrick cleansed Ireland of snakes. He is believed to have died on Mach 17, in the year 493. He hasbeen adopted as one of the patron saints of Ireland.
History of Saint Patrick’s Day
Historically, Saint Patrick’s day was held as a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics and as a feast day in the Church of Ireland. In 1903, it became an official, national public holiday in Ireland. The first ever Saint Patrick’s Day parade was held that very same year in Waterford. Throughout the 1900’s the importance of Saint Patrick’s Day grew as it became a celebration not just of Saint Patrick himself, but of all Irish culture.
Modern Saint Patrick’s Day
Modern Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated across the globe and not just by people of Irish heritage. To celebrate, parades are thrown, and everyone dressed up in green. People also eat traditional Irish meals of corned beef, cabbage, Irish brown bread, and potato soup. They also drink beer. Lots and lots of beer.