A short history of St Patrick’s Day parades

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March 17th marks St. Patrick’s Day, a named day for Ireland’s patron saint. From the late 20th century, the government began to sponsor this, and an international festival and parade in Dublin commenced as part of tradition.

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How long has this been celebrated?

In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has been a religious feast day since as far back as the 17th century. In 1903, it was declared a public holiday. The earliest parade was held in New York City in the 1760s by Irishmen serving in the British military. During the 1800s, Irish Catholic immigrants were facing discrimination in America, and they showed strength in numbers by holding parades.

Today, many people still celebrate this holiday from all cultures and ethnic backgrounds. The parade that started in America as a show of strength and pride in their heritage still happens today; it’s held in Manhattan and travels an incredible 1.5 miles. As the tradition continues, a green line is painted along Fifth Avenue to mark the route, and floats are banned from the procession.

St Patricks Day gifts are often given to close family and friends to show support and to unite each other in the celebrations. For some inspiration, you might like to find great gift ideas at Shamrock Gifts for St Patricks Day, and if you’re feeling extra patriotic, you could wear the colour green. National Geographic explains that during the rebellion against Britain, Irish soldiers chose to wear green. They believed it contrasted more against the red British uniforms, and this is where the link between the colour green and Ireland came from.

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What to expect on St. Patrick’s Day around the world

Around the world on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated with parades, festivals, food and drinks. People will wear green and some monuments will be lit up with green lights, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower. The Chicago River is dyed green in the name of celebrating Irish heritage.

Wherever you may be on this day, you will surely come across some form of celebration. You could join in by drinking some Guinness or by eating food associated with the holiday. The tradition of eating corned beef, cabbage and potatoes was started in the United States.

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