Before I share with you all some local shows hosted at local venues featuring local musicians that will be going on around town for St. Patrick’s Day (all of which are posted in between St. Patrick’s Day facts provided by yourdictonary.com), I have a couple questions I want answered from you:
So, tomorrow is Sy. Patrick’s Day and you all are going to get beligerant. Okay, we know this. But, do we understand this? Do we even know why? Why must we all party on St. Patrick’s Day? Who is this man? What did he do? Why is he so celebrated? And is this holiday really meant to be celebrated by excessive festivities??
All that and much more is answered below. Between each answer is a local St. Patty’s Day party featuring some of your favorite bands. Check it out:
Who Was St. Patrick?
He was enslaved for seven years until he was able to escape to the north. He then made his way to the north of France and found his religion there under the teaching of St. Germain. He reportedly heard God give him a calling to Ireland to convert the Irish people from paganism to Christianity. He returned to Ireland and spent the rest of his life bringing the teachings of the Church to the Irish.
Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
So, before we get into his background, let’s find out why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Following his death, March 17th officially became a day of celebration known as St. Patrick’s Day. It was a religious holiday and for a long time was celebrated with solemn respect and mindfulness of beliefs.
Under original tradition, it was a day or remembrance of the Goddess Brigid (from oldpaganism). Later, the Church canonized Brigid and declared a holiday on the same day as The Day of the Christian Bonfire of the Celts.
However, in around 1900, the holiday turned from one of religion to one centered more as an Irish Day of Pride.
What Did St. Patrick Do?
St. Patrick is credited with blending his teachings with the Irish beliefs to make them morepalatable. His best known miracle was driving all of the snakes out of Ireland through his prayer. However, some believe that this was merely a figurative description of driving the paganism (symbol of a snake) out of Ireland in favor of Christianity.
St. Patrick also built many monasteries, schools and churches for the Irish people to learn about Christianity. He even trained many priests to carry on his mission. He retired to County Cork and died on March 17, 461 AD.
St. Patrick’s Celebrations
The celebration of this day has changed into a social holiday filled with excesses of partying, drinking and feasting. The day is observed around the world in many countries including the US, Canada, Argentina, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Mexico and South Korea. The festivities include traditional Irish food, green beer, parades and the wearing of green. The first celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the United States occurred in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. During the early celebrations in the US, George Washington allowed the members of his army a holiday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a show of solidarity in the Irish fight for independence.
Today, many cities in the US that have large Irish populations go all out for St. Patrick’s Day. The celebrations in Chicago, New York and Boston are humongous. The parades continue to get more extravagant every year. The celebration as a social holiday is a recent occurrence in Ireland as well. Modern celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day last five days.
The holiday was first celebrated in 1931 in Dublin. However, the secularization of the holiday in Ireland has drawn criticism by the Christian community. They believe it should return to its original focus of piety and once more become a Church holiday. Around the world, the St. Patrick’s Day celebration is an excuse to participate in drunkenness and party-going. Much of the meaning of the day has passed into history.
Whether you are Irish or not, it is easy to forget that the Irish people still battle for their freedom from the British Empire. Only those in the south of Ireland have a free and independent country. Many have died in their struggle for independence from English rule. This is especially important to remember on St. Patrick’s Day.
So, why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Because on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish.