“Kiss me, I’m Irish”

We all know of leprechauns and luck, but do we know the true history of Saint Patrick’s Day?

Every year, on March 17th,  people from all around the globe celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, also known as “St. Patty’s Day”or the “Feast of Saint Patrick”.  Many associate the 17th as a day filled with delicious corn beef and cabbage meals, energetic Irish dancing and parades, and lots of green. Although not born Irish, the patron saint of Ireland, has become a huge part of the Irish heritage.  Patrick grew up in Great Britain, and one day, during his childhood, was kidnapped by a group of Irish pirates. He was sold into slavery and for six years, he herded sheep. During his stay he had a vision of escaping, so eventually he escaped from enslavement.  He had a mission, inspired by a previous vision of saving the Irish people, so he return to Ireland to complete that mission.  He wanted to convert the Irish to the Christian religion, so he became a priest.  There are many myths of Patrick and what he did during his mission, including using the shamrock in order to teach the Holy Trinity, which is why the four leafed clover is a symbol of St. Patty’s Day.  To Irish Christians, March 17th, the day that Saint Patrick passed away, is a holy day.   Since the 5th century, the Irish have been attending church on the morning of the 17th, and afterwards, they feast; eating and drinking.  Although this is an Irish holiday, it is celebrated all around the world because when the potato famine hit Ireland, many people immigrated to countries including, Canada, Australia, and America.  In America, people maintained the Irish culture, but began to generate new traditions, such as, wearing green.  The original recipe of bacon and cabbage was altered to using corn beef because it was cheaper than bacon. Every year in New York, the city hosts the “5th Avenue Parade”, which is known as a huge event celebrating the Irish holiday.  In Chicago, they dye the Chicago River green, using 45 pounds of vegetable dye.  Many people in America also enjoying meeting up with their friends at local pubs for a drink.  And to this day, drinking has become a huge part of the culture of this holiday. Now that you’ve learned a little bit about the Irish history, its time to get ready to wear lots of green, eat some delicious Irish meals, and maybe even get lucky and catch a Leprechaun.

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