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A Few Things You Need to Know About St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated worldwide each year on March 17. It is an especially large celebration in the United States. Boston, Massachusetts held the very first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737. To this date, New York hosts the largest parade where as many as 1 million people attend the event. So with all of the celebrations that take place, who exactly was St. Patrick and why is this a popular day?

St. Patrick’s Real Name & Birth Place

St. Patrick was not born with this name and he was not Irish! Some historians believe his birth name was Maewyn Succat and later became Patrick after he was ordained in the church. He was born in Britain in 387 AD and as a young aduItwas captured by pirates who enslaved him in Ireland. Years after his escape, he was ordained by Pope St. Celestine I as St. Patrick Bishop of the Irish. He went to Ireland to spread the “Good News” and fulfilled his dream to spread Christianity in Ireland. He also created the Celtic Cross that is seen in many churches in Ireland.

Why People Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day

There are a few reasons why green is worn on this day. One reason is because green represents Ireland’s nickname “Emerald Isle”. Green is also in Ireland’s flag and so is the color of shamrocks. And if you’re feeling silly, green makes you invisible so it will keep those pesky leprechauns away! By the way, St. Patrick actually wore blue on his robes.

St. Patrick vs Snakes

St. Patrick did not drive away snakes out of Ireland, this is a myth. Some people believe that the snakes were used as a metaphor for the early Pagan faiths of Ireland. He did not get rid of Pagans from Ireland, instead many of them converted to Christianity.

Saint Patrick’s Day is a remembrance of the life and death of Ireland’s patron saint. It also remembers the arrival of Christianity in Ireland – a long time dream of Maewyn Succat that was finally fulfilled. However way you celebrate it, remember that St. Patrick is proof that dreams can come true if you work hard for it! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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