St. Patrick’s Day is perhaps one of the most popular celebrations in the United States. Commemorated every March 17, people get together to sing traditional Irish songs, march in cheerful parades and hop and skip to the Irish jig. Devotees usually wear green adorned with shamrocks in remembrance of Ireland, the Emerald Isle and St. Patrick, the Irish patron.
Highly regarded as one of Christianity’s most recognizable figures, St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Although the festival annually commemorated in his honor gives him a somewhat celebrity status, his life remains something of a mystery. While there are lots of stories that revolve around this cherished holy person, St. Patrick is very much known to have banished all the snakes from Ireland.
Despite the fact that it is an Irish revelry, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day originated here in the country and not in Ireland. The first ever observance of the holiday was on March 17, 1766 when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. Along with their distinct brand of musical styles, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army. And thus the renowned festival was born, which is held in over 100 U.S. cities each and every year.
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