Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s day
Saint Patrick’s Day is a common western holiday that is celebrated on the 17th March every year. St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and it is widely believed that his death occurred on the 17th march when the holiday is held. Most of the information about St Patrick’s life and work is vague and scarce; most of the information is taken from the Annals of Ulster written by an anonymous individual.
From what little information we do have about this patron saint it is generally accepted that he was born in Roman Britain in AD 387. At the age of 16 years he was captured and taken to Ireland as a captive for 6 years. During this time he became deeply religious and returned to England as a priest.
He returned to Ireland later on with a mission to convert Ireland to Christianity and crafted some ingenious methods of incorporating pagan beliefs into his Christian teachings. It is remarked that at one point he likened the Holy Trinity to the leaves of a Shamrock using its three leaves as symbolism for this. During this time he faced a lot of opposition from other religious individuals and groups because he himself was not Irish.
St Patrick died in AD 493 and it is widely accepted that he is buried underneath Down Cathedral found in Downpatrick along with St Brigid and St Columba. The interesting part of this is that St Patrick has not been officially canonized yet is highly venerated in Ireland and England to this day alongside many other parts of the world.
The celebration of St Patrick’s Day in Ireland lasts five days and has a strongly religious tone to it. It was only in 1931 however, that this national holiday in Ireland held a parade for the first time in Dublin. If you are Roman Catholic you would better know this holiday as “Feast Day” thanks to the efforts of Luke Waddin during the 17th Century. In America, the first parade was held as early as 1762 in Boston.
Today even non Irish people celebrate St Patrick’s Day to commemorate his life’s work by adding a touch of green to their clothing or accessories. Major cities also compete with other by holding bigger and better parade each and every year. While St Patrick’s Day is an official holiday in Ireland it is not an official holiday in America despite many American people being of Irish origins.
Today, even in Ireland the holiday is becoming increasingly more commercialized and losing it’s religious qualities, much to the displeasure of the Roman Catholic Church. It has now mostly become an excuse for people to socialize in the sun, drink alcohol and skip work particularly in America and the UK. Essentially speaking, everyone has their own reasons why they celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Some do so out of family tradition, others due to its religious connotations and some people celebrate St Patrick’s Day just to get an extra day of celebration out of the years events.