• Addie Childree

History of St. Patrick's Day

As everyone knows, on March 17 we celebrate the holiday St. Patrick's Day. This day is actually the anniversary of St. Patrick's death back in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years.

On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived. and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

Who is Saint Patrick:

Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death, the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well-known legend of St. Patrick is that he explained the Holy Trinity using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.

The Chicago River:

There are many different traditions on St. Patrick's Day. One of the biggest celebrations is the dying of the Chicago River. Every year on March 17, Chicago dyes the river green, bringing many different people together to celebrate this holiday. The practice started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river–enough to keep it green for a week. Today, in order to minimize environmental damage, only 40 pounds of dye are used, and the river turns green for only several hours.

All information was provided by History.com.

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