What Is The True History Of St. Patrick’s Day?

Emma Carter

Taylor Koehnemann, Reporter

People from around the world will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with colorful floats, festive clothing, and food on March 17. But have you ever wondered how this all started? Have we taken it for granted and made it our own instead? Well, here is where this holiday originally came into our world.

Originally on March 17, the Irish made this day a religious holiday for over 1,000 years ago. Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and then celebrate in the afternoon. In the afternoon, people would dance and eat a meal of cabbage and Irish bacon. 

Now you may have also wondered who is Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick originated from the fifth century. He was the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. He was originally born in Roman Britain. He was unfortunately kidnapped at the age of 16 and brought to Ireland. Eventually, he escaped but came back to Ireland and brought religion to Ireland’s people.

Patrick’s death was believed to be on March 17, 461 CE. The story of his life was brought into Irish culture. One of the best legends of Saint Patrick was when he used a shamrock; one of Ireland’s native clover to explain one of his religious beliefs.

Another important part of St. Patrick’s Day is, how did it spread? This starts around the ninth to the 10th century where the Irish would have a feast day on March 17. But the first parade for St. Patrick’s Day was actually in the US. The parade was held on March 17, 1601 in what is now St. Augustine, Florida. Over a century later some of the Irish soldiers that were serving in the English military marched in New York City on their St. Patrick’s Day. After all the enthusiasm, people from NYC started to spread it to other cities and states.

We have celebrated this holiday for centuries, with food parades and bright colors. But this holiday goes a lot deeper than we could have ever imagined. On our next St. Patrick’s Day, we can think a little differently about this holiday.