Well it’s that time of year when the most celebrated of Saints days arrive – yes that right, it’s nearly time for St Patrick’s day! So, what will you be doing come the 17th of March?
Firstly, do you know why this day is celebrated and who St Patrick is? Behind the extravagant parades, street parties and a celebratory beer (or few!), there’s actually a very interesting history. As we’re sure you know, he’s the patron saint of Ireland, but fascinatingly he was actually born in Roman Britain, and taken to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16! Fortunately, he escaped! But returned to Ireland some years later to convert the Irish to Christianity.
Today, St Patrick’s Day is a memorable date in our calendars, and people all over the world flock to the streets to celebrate. In fact, it’s our friends in the USA who we can thank for the reason that we mark this date in the way that we do!
Since the 1700’s, popular cities including Boston and New York began to host St Patrick’s Day parades, which soon became global traditions. In 1962, Chicago went one step further, and even coloured its river green to toast the occasion!
Unsurprisingly, the Irish capital quickly followed suit, and every year puts on one of the most extravagant displays to commemorate their patron saint. The National St. Patrick’s Festival is the main event come the 17th of March in Dublin, welcoming over half a million revellers from all over the world to take part in the festivities. It’s the perfect way to get into the spirit of the holidays, especially if you’ve got kids! If your head isn’t hurting too much the next day, you can discover further Irish traditions and Dublin’s hidden gems, with a self-guided city tour.
Some miles away, over 150,000 residents and tourists take to the streets of The Big Apple to march alongside the parade. In honour of St Patrick, who is also the Archdiocese of New York, the city’s iconic celebration attracts a staggering 2 million spectators – with of course, a huge party to follow shortly after!
If you’ve never experienced New York’s parade, you can still dive into the history of this and many of its other extravagant celebrations, by joining an exciting sightseeing tour.
So, whilst we may be celebrating under different circumstances this year, why not look to the future and even plan a trip to one of these iconic cities the next time St Patrick’s Day comes round?! We know we’d like too…