St. Patrick’s Day, the day that is celebrated to commemorate St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland is celebrated on the 17th of March each year, this day falls in the middle of the lent season observed by Christians. St. Patricks Day is celebrated as a religious feast day in honour of St. Patrick and is a public holiday in Ireland and many other countries. St. Patricks day has been traditionally been celebrated in Ireland for centuries, People celebrate this day by attending service in morning followed by a day full of activities and celebrations that include eating, drinking and taking part in the St. Patricks Day parade. While this festival falls in between of the Lenten season, the Lenten prohibitions were waived off so that Irish people could celebrate this day by eating, drinking and dancing.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
One of the biggest attractions of the St. Patricks Day celebrations is the St. Patricks day parade. Contrary to popular belief, the first ever St. Patricks Day parade was held in the United States of America and not on the 17th of March 1762 , by a group of Irish soldiers who were serving in the English military. These Irish Soldiers marched through the city of New York in sync to the music of a band. This St. Patricks day parade means for the Irish soldiers to reconnect to their Irish roots and connect with other Irish soldiers who were enlisted. The first St. Patricks day parade came against the backdrop where wearing the color green was a sign of Irish pride, which was banned in Ireland. The parade was a means of celebrating the freedom the Irish enjoyed in the US, where they could freely speak their language and follow their traditions. During the initial years, the St. Patricks day parade in New York was organized by the Military.
Over the coming years, the Irish population in the Untied States of America increased giving rise to various Irish societies like the Hibernian society, these groups started organizing yearly ST. Patricks day parades that included drums and bagpipes. The first united St. Patricks day parade in New York was held in 1848, when several Irish societies united for a common parade.
Modern Day St. Patricks Day parade
Today, St. Patricks day is celebrated with enthusiasm by many people around the world. While St. Patricks Day is still considered to be a religious festival, over the last couple of decades, this day has taken on a more secular hue to it. Today the St. Patricks day parade has become very popular and is considered to be the main attractions in many cities, where people throng the streets dressed in green to take part in the St. Patricks Day parade and revelries.
Some of the most popular St. Patricks Day parades are :-
St. Patricks Day parade in Dublin:- The parade in Dublin, is one of the biggest St. Patricks day parade in the world with close to 1 million people attending this parade and taking part in the festivities. The ST. Patricks Day parade in Dublin kicks off at 11 am from Metro Center and proceeds through Dublin City. The parade includes giant balloons, character balloons and animal balloons. It also features concerts, outdoor theatre, fireworks and experience to sample Irish food.
St. Patricks Day parade in London:- The Parade in London is considered to be one of the livelest events with close to 100,000 people attending the parade. The parade has many colourful floats, live marching bands and people dressed in green. The London St. Patricks day parade proceeds through central London starting from Green Park at 12 noon and proceeds to Trafalgar Square, where Irish dance and music programs are held.
St. Patricks Day parade in Chicago:- The St. Patricks Day parade in Chicago is famous for the green river. The Chicago river is dyed green to mark St. Patricks Day.
St. Patricks Day parade in Savannah:- The St. Patricks day parade in Savannah is considered to be the second biggest parade in the world. The Savannah St. Patricks day parade was first organized in 1813. On St. Patricks Day the Savannah parade starts at 10:15 am and lasts for 3 hours. The parade includes several units that also include US army bands, the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales and other bands. People from around the world throng to the city of Savannah to witness this grand parade.
St. Patricks Day parade in New York:- The St. Patricks day parade in New York starts at 11 am from 44th street and marches past the St. Patricks Cathedral on 50th Avenue and ends on 86th Street. The parade lasts for about 6 hours and ends around 5 pm in the evening. People are seen flocking to the streets to witness the parade that includes bands and floats that depict the Irish culture.
In the United States each year more than 100 St. Patricks day parades are held to celebrate this day, some other popular parades include Boston and Philadelphia