St. Patrick's Day 2023: Meaning, significance, traditions, and celebrations
A global celebration of the Irish culture! March 17 is observed as St. Patrick's Day or the feast day of Saint Patrick in honor of the patron saint of Ireland. Today, it is a largely secular holiday in the US and is also celebrated in many other countries around the globe! From its meaning to celebrations, here's everything you should know.
The story behind St. Patrick's Day
Born in Britain, Saint Patrick was kidnapped at the age of 16 and brought to Ireland as a slave. Luckily, he managed to escape but returned in 432 CE to spread Christianity in Ireland. Until he died on March 17, 461 CE, he established several churches, monasteries, and schools. Legends have it that he even drove snakes out of Ireland using a shamrock leaf!
The day celebrates the spirit of Ireland
Besides celebrating the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, this occasion also commemorates the heritage and culture of the country in general. People indulge in feasts and services on this day to mark the saint's many sacrifices, ideologies, teachings, and doings. Christians across the country keep him on a pedestal as it is believed that he taught Pagans about this religion.
How do people celebrate this festival?
People wear green clothes and indulge in parades and festivities. People in the US eat green-colored foods, drink green beer, and even dye the Chicago River green every year. They also attend church services and follow the age-old custom of drowning the shamrock in a cup filled with beer, whiskey, or cider. It is then drunk as a toast to the saint.
Here's why everything is green on this day
Formerly, blue was the color of both St. Patrick's Day and Ireland but it changed to green when a flag with this color was waived during the Great Irish Rebellion against the British in 1641. Apart from this, another reason why this day is all green is because of the color of the shamrock, which even became the national symbol of Ireland.