The History of St. Patrick’s Day

(Photo: Those Richters' Photography ©)

St. Patrick’s Day over the years has become a celebration in the U.S. that centers around the “wearing of the green”, parades, and of course green beer and corned beef and cabbage. But where did it all begin? Sheridan Media’s Ron Richter has the story.


By all accounts, there are several different stories of how St. Patrick’s Day began, but the one that seems to carry the most weight has to do with Saint Patrick’s Feast Day, which was being celebrated by the Irish in Europe as far back as the ninth century. The celebration was a religious feast day to commemorate the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, who oddly enough, wasn’t born in Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day didn’t even become a national holiday in Ireland until the early 1900s, and ironically enough, the first parade celebrating St. Patrick’s Day didn’t take place in Ireland, it was actually held in New York City in 1762.

We checked in this week with our Irish Correspondent Alfie Deehan, who said that while the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland has become more modern over the years, the Irish still view it as a religious day that focuses on the church.

Deehan said bacon and cabbage instead of corned beef and cabbage is the meal most consumed in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day.

Here’s another interesting tidbit about St. Paddy’s Day, the original color associated with St. Patrick is blue, not green as commonly believed. Green was associated with Ireland after St. Patrick's life, possibly because of the greenness of the countryside, or due to the fact that St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and how the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit could be separate, yet one in the same.