Celebrated every March, St. Patrick’s Day has grown to be one of America’s favorite holidays.
The holiday was formed to commemorate the death of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, who is credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. The well-known symbol associated with St. Patrick’s Day, the shamrock, is believed to be the tool used by Saint Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity; the leaves of the three-leaved clover represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
St, Patrick’s Day was originally observed in Ireland with a larger feast and by the closing of pubs. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in America took place when Irish soldiers in the English military marched through New York City in 1762. Today, New York celebrates the holiday with parades and floats.
With a sudden rush of immigration caused by the great potato famine of the 1800s, Irish immigrants firmly planted their American roots. This helped the holiday spread from the East coast to the West coast, carrying legends of leprechauns and clovers along with it.
Today, the culture of St. Patrick’s Day is most popular among the younger generation for its tradition of inviting pinches to those who do not wear green on March 17. What started as an exclusively religious Irish holiday is now a day when people of all ethnicities join in parades and masquerades.