HomePet NewsReptile NewsSnakes and green rivers: The history and impact of St. Patrick’s Day

Snakes and green rivers: The history and impact of St. Patrick’s Day


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Most Americans partner St. Patrick’s day with using green clothing, consuming green drinks or seeing the Chicago River after it’s been colored green. The vacation looks a little bit various now than when it was initially commemorated around the ninth century.

Who is St. Patrick?

St. Patrick’s Day is commemorated every year on March 17, the anniversary of St. Patrick, tutelary saint of Ireland and its nationwide apostle. Born in Roman Britain towards completion of the 4th century, he was abducted when he was 16 and required to Ireland, where he ended up being a servant. He ultimately got away.

He later on ended up being a priest and went back to Ireland to transform the Irish individuals to Christianity. According to Time publication, “St. Patrick was actually born Maewyn Succat, according to legend; he changed his name to Patricius, or Patrick, which derives from the Latin term for ‘father figure,’ when he became a priest.”

By the time of his death, St. Patrick had actually developed schools, churches and abbeys. Although he did significant things in his life time, it’s the legends surrounding his story that keep the event of his life alive today.

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Legend has it that he preached a preaching on a hillside in Ireland prohibiting all snakes from the island. More significant is the legend that he preached about the Holy Trinity utilizing the native Irish clover to represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which provided the shamrock its appeal today.

The vacation goes huge

Throughout history, Ireland has actually commemorated the vacation with spiritual observance and a standard banquet of Irish native food like cabbage and Irish bacon. However, it was the patriotism of Irish immigrants to America that provided the vacation its international appeal.

According to History.com, “One of the earliest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America took place in Boston in 1737, when a group of Irish Protestants gathered to honor their homeland’s saint. … In the 1760s, when America still consisted of 13 British colonies, a group of Irishmen serving in the British army in New York City started the tradition of parading on St. Patrick’s Day.”

Chicago’s custom of coloring the Chicago River green started in 1960 as a method to tidy up the river’s waterside. The green color assisted plumbing technicians area where pipelines were dripping sewage into the river. “In 1962, the Plumbers Local Union decided to use 100 pounds of that dye in the river to turn it green for St. Patrick’s Day — and it stayed that way for a week,” Enjoy Illinois said.

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New York City holds the record for the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade. “Today the parade, which travels 1.5 miles up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, is billed as the world’s oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day parade. Among the approximately 150,000 marchers are politicians, school children, bands, bagpipers, police, firefighters and other municipal workers,” History.com reported.

Holiday expenditures

Due to the reality that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, chances are more individuals will head out to share their vacation spirit. The National Retail Federation approximated just how much they believe Americans will be spending this vacation: “Americans are estimated to spend $6.85 billion.” They report that the average American will spend about $43.84 which almost 61% of Americans will be taking part in celebrations — more than ever in the past.

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