Origin of Saint Patrick. St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17, is an Irish Christian holiday celebrating St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, as well as the Christianization of Ireland.
Irish evangelist, St. Patrick would have explained the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish at a sermon in the rock of Cashel with a clover, thus making the symbol of Ireland (the official emblem of the country being the Celtic harp). The legend says that it is at this time that he hunts all snakes of the country, an action that symbolizes the conversion of the Irish people: snakes represent the beliefs polytheistic Celtic Irish, assimilated to Satan, made responsible for the ignorance of the true God. Every year, the citizens of Ireland put a clover in the buttonhole to remember this religious education. Traditionally, people dress in green and party in the street (outdoor entertainment: beer vendor, stands, snack, Celtic concerts).
St. Patrick’s Day is a Christian holiday celebrated by the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Church of Ireland (Anglican). It is already celebrated by the Irish in the 9th and 5th century. Through the force of observing this tradition through time, St. Patrick is associated with Ireland in the system of religious patronage. March 17 is recognized as a legal holiday in the Irish calendar on March 16, 1607 and is inscribed on the Catholic liturgical calendar on March 16, 1607, thanks to the influence of Luke Wadding, a Franciscan scholastic monk born in Waterford. The St. Patrick’s Day then becomes a holy day of obligation for the Catholics of Ireland. The festival always takes place during Lent. It is traditional for some Christians observing a fast for Lent to break it during the St. Patrick’s Day. The calendar of the Church avoids the observance of saints’ feasts during certain solemnities, thus displacing the saint’s day outside the period of observation. St. Patrick’s Day is periodically affected by this change, when March 17 falls during Holy Week. This happened in 1940: St. Patrick’s Day was observed on April 3 to avoid coinciding with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008 when it was observed on March 14.
It has gradually become a civil festival, a symbol of recognition for all Irish people. Thus in the United States, the main country of the Irish diaspora, the first celebration of this festival takes place in Boston in 1737 and the first official parade in New York in 1762.
Abroad, this holiday is mostly seen as a celebration of what makes Ireland: green, clover and beer. The excessive consumption of the latter is largely encouraged by the spirit of celebration and breweries, sometimes leading to excesses, both in terms of health (including with binge drinking), as well as on the cultural, where the St. Patrick becomes a kind of Irish cult of beer in the collective imagination. With regard to this problem, Christian representatives in Ireland have expressed concern about the secularisation of St. Patrick’s Day.
On New York
New York City is home to the largest parade for St. Patrick’s Day, with more than two million spectators on Fifth Avenue, in front of the towers of the St. Patrick’s Day Sanctuary built in the flamboyant style of the 19th century. . The first St. Patrick’s Day events in New York date back to 1762, when Irish soldiers marched through the city on March 17. On St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish colony of San Francisco organizes a grand parade in the streets. The statue of the Bishop evangelizer of Ireland is thus walked on a chariot decorated with national colors.
In Canada, particularly in the province of Quebec, the « St. Patrick’s storm » is generally the last significant snowstorm of the season. The local custom is that winter is not over until it has fallen.
A day made a holiday in the 20th century
In 1903, St. Patrick’s Day became an official holiday in Ireland, thanks to the Bank Holiday Act of 1903 (in), an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by James O’Mara (en). He later introduced the law requiring that pubs be closed on March 17, after the consumption of alcohol became out of control, a clause that was later repealed in the 1970s. When St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday, the holiday is moved to Monday, allowing Irish citizens to benefit from the full number of their holidays recorded by the government.
Interview with Jeff an American language assistant in our school :
- Did you celebrate Saint Patrick’s day ?
Yes it’s much celebrated, particularly in Cleveland.
- How do you celebrate it ?
We wear green clothes, cities are all green, people can drink from 6 A.M. On Chicago we do a before party on the Saturday before Saint Patrick
- Do you like this day ?
Yes ! It’s very great day.
It is the occasion of a nice time with friends.