Ireland: A History of St. Patrick’s Day
St.Patrick’s Day, a Roman Catholic feast day meant to commemorate the patron saint of Ireland who passed away on March 17, 461, takes place on March 17th every year. Something that may surprise you is that St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, but he is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
Patrick was born under the name Maewyn in Roman Britain, and was kidnapped and sold into slavery when he was young, which was how he got to Ireland. He eventually escaped to a monastery in what is now France and became a Christian. In 432, he returned to Ireland as missionary and confronted the Druids at Tara, abolishing their pagan rites and spreading Christianity throughout Ireland. After his death, he was made a bishop and named the patron saint of Ireland.
While St. Patrick’s Day was traditionally a religious affair that removed the Lent restrictions on eating meat and was celebrating with food, drink, and dancing, and has been celebrated in Ireland since the ninth or tenth century. According to the legend of St. Patrick, he used a three-leaf clover (also known as a shamrock) to explain the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland.
It became closer to the modern parades and parties that are associated with it once it started being celebrated in the United States by Irish immigrants. In the 1760s, Irish soldiers in New York who were serving in the English military held the first known St. Patrick’s Day parades as a means of reconnecting with their roots and with other Irishmen in the American colonies.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world, especially in the US, Canada, and Australia. You can even find a St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin now that has over one million attendees every year! It includes parades, concerts, theater productions, and even fireworks displays.
While US citizens do not need a visa to go to Ireland and will instead need a visa waiver called an ESTA, you will still need a passport. We can help you with that. Give Texas Tower Houston a call 713-874-1420 today and let us know what we can do to help you with your US passport needs. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!