On one day a year, the whole world turns green.
Is there a better way to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day than by wearing green and a clove of shamrocks? I don’t think so! Many cities and countries across the globe celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day for the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and Saint Patrick himself. Isn’t it ironic how we have branded this holiday with the color green when Saint Patrick himself was originally known to be the color blue? Well, Saint Patrick’s Day has been branded the color green for what I believe to be two reasons: shamrocks and the Ireland flag. Ireland has held onto the color green as a brand since the 1640s, when the green harp flag was used in the Irish Catholic Confederation. Shamrocks and green ribbons have been worn on Saint Patrick’s Day to celebrate ever since.
St. Patrick’s Day History
The first ever-celebrated parade for Saint Patrick’s Day was in 1762, when Irish soldiers were serving in the British Army held the first parade in New York City. Saint Patrick’s Day has been celebrated as early as the ninth and tenth centuries, but it was first declared an official holiday on March 17, 1903. The celebrations in the first two years were ruled out of control with excessive drinking by the United Kingdom Parliament in 1903. We know Irishmen are very fond of drinking beer and whiskey, so it was upsetting when Ireland had to shut down every pub and bar on Saint Patrick’s Day until 1970 when it was repealed.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago
Nearly 200-years after the first parade in the U.S. and after the law was put on celebrating in Ireland, Chicago decided to dye a part of the Chicago River green in 1962. With over 34 million U.S. citizens claiming to have Irish descent, Chicago was supporting the Irish holiday. This started a campaign movement with different countries choosing to “dye” a landmark green in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.
The Empire State building, Irish Parliament building, Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt all “dye” themselves green for the holiday. On another green dying event, Guinness is the most popular beer for Saint Patrick’s Day since it is dyed green and served with a shamrock. It is estimated that 13 million pints are consumed just that day! (Is that a world record?)
As for the parade you will see spectators and parade participants dressed up to look like a leprechaun or Saint Patrick himself! Or you can see a lot of green at the 5-day festival that Dublin offers. It attracts over 5 million visitors every year! How awesome is that!
Now that you know your Saint Patrick’s Day facts, make sure you wear your green and drink responsibly! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!