Who was Saint Patrick and why is he celebrated on March 17?

This Friday, March 17, is a very special day. for the inhabitants of Ireland and also for some states in the United States, such as Chicago or New York, since Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated precisely in honor of the patron saint of that European country.

Saint Patrick’s Day is known primarily because the people who celebrate it usually drink alcohol, particularly beer, sin control; However, the date goes much further, since in some places there are usually special parades, parties, among other events.

Who was Saint Patrick?

This day commemorates the death of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, a very peculiar character since he was not from that country nor was that his real name.

Saint Patrick’s real name was Maewyn, a man who tradition says was born in the year 387 in Scotland and who when he was a child he was kidnapped by some irish pirates, who would have sold him into slavery.

Once in this nation, he was working as a pastor until he managed to escape to France, where he entered a monastery to become a priestthen changing his name to Patricio.

Once ordained, he returned to Ireland to work in various schools and churches, and years later he was appointed Bishop of Ireland. He died on March 17, 461. in Saul, Downpatrick, a town now in Northern Ireland.

In 1780 he was granted official recognition as the patron saint of Ireland and from that moment, he became a momentous figure for the Irish.

Saint Patrick’s Day in the United States

The feast of Saint Patrick came to the United States with the first Irish migrants. According to the Washington Post, the first official celebration in the country would have been recorded in 1631; Later, the church declared it a public holiday, therefore the bars were closed and people had to go to church.

The same medium also indicates that The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Ireland but in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1601. Despite being a Spanish area, Patricio was considered the patron of corn in this place. Little by little, the parade tradition spread throughout the United States.

In the same way, the food most associated with the party, corned beef (beef with cabbage and potatoes) also emerged in the US.

Currently, the largest parade in the world on that day is held in New York, which is attended by nearly 2 million people each year. Also, in Chicago, during this date people celebrate by dyeing the river green, which they began to do in 1961 by pouring a green dye into the river.

It may interest you:

* Why St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with beer
* How to tell if beer has gone bad
* What are the best beer cities in the United States