St. Patrick’s Day and the United States

Every March 17th most of the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. While it’s a religious holiday in Ireland that honors the country’s patron saint, in the United States, St. Patrick’s Day has become a widely celebrated cultural holiday associated with Irish heritage and identity.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States took place in New York City in 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the British army marched through the city. The parade became an annual event, and in the mid-19th century, Irish immigrants began to organize their own St. Patrick’s Day parades in cities across the United States.

St. Patrick’s Day provided an opportunity for Irish Americans to express pride in their heritage and celebrate their culture. Cities with large Irish American populations, such as Boston, Chicago, Savannah and New York City, continue to hold large St. Patrick’s Day parades to this day. While many cities paint their streets green, Savannah fills its famous Forsyth Park fountain with green water, and Chicago takes it one step further by adding green dye its river!

In addition to parades, St. Patrick’s Day in the United States is often celebrated with traditional Irish food, such as corned beef and cabbage, and by wearing green clothing and an array of accessories; green of course. Many bars and restaurants across the U.S. serve green beer and other festive drinks on this day. Guinness anyone?

St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the United States, with people of all backgrounds and nationalities joining in the festivities. While the holiday has evolved from its religious origins, it continues to be an important day of cultural celebration and pride for Irish Americans and others who celebrate the holiday across the United States.

Photo credit: Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock

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