The history of St. Patrick’s Day

The history of St. Patricks Day

Izzy McMullen, Feature editor

For over 1,000 years, an Irish holiday called St. Patrick’s day has been celebrated on March 17. The holiday recognizes the death of St. Patrick, the bishop of Ireland. People commonly dress in green because it’s one of the main colors in the orange, white and green flag of Ireland. This holiday incorporates the symbols of harps and the shamrock, originating from the 18th century where people would have parties and sing songs and tell stories about Irish culture and heritage in order to celebrate the death of St. Patrick.


Green also became the focal point of the holiday because it was seen during the Great Irish Rebellion of 1641. A green flag was used with a harp symbol to mark the rebels’ group. Many traditions built up around these battles and acts. Although the holiday was prominent in the 18th century, it wasn’t until the 19th century when people of the US started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. The reason for the start of this was the amount of Irish immigrants who came to look for better jobs in America especially after the Great Famine which heavily reduced Ireland’s potato crop. The spread of green on this holiday, including green clothing and Irish flags, helped show the immigrants and other Irish people’s heritage and pride for their home country in the US.


In addition to this holiday being celebrated by wearing green and carrying Irish flags, many partake in parties and big drinking events to ‘observe’ St. Patrick’s day.


Parades are also a big part of the holiday. The first parade dates back several decades and started in the United States. In 1762, the parades started as Irish soldiers, serving in the English military, held their first march through the streets of New York City. The celebration has grown vastly since the original parade and parties, including hosting bagpipes and drums into the parades.
This holiday and it’s tradition has spread all around the world, allowing many countries to create their own rendition of the celebrations that were originally developed.