Photo//Jiffy Lube

Green, leprechauns and clovers everywhere – what exactly is St. Patrick’s day all about?

Saint Patrick’s Day, or Feast of Saint Patrick, is a celebration held on March 17 to remember Saint Patrick – the foremost patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick was born in 385 AD in Roman Britain and died in 461 in Ireland. 

The day commemorates the arrival of Christainty in Ireland, which happened in 432, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish. Celebrations include public parades and the dancing playing Gaelic folk music: cèilidh. Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many countries such as the United Kingdom, Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the British terrority of Montserrat. On this day, Catholics attend church in the morning and watch the parade. 

The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States was held in Boston in 1737. This is where the NBA team, Boston Celtics, got their name from.

The color of St. Patrick Day used to be blue, but Ireland’s nickname is “The Emerald Isle,” thus changing its notable color to green. Furthermore, St.Patrick said to have the shamrock, a green three-leaf plant and the official flower of Ireland, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pegan Irish. The Holy Trinity is the divine way of saying that each person has these three substances – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – which is reflected in the three leaves of the clovers. 

The Chicago River gets dyed green every year on St. Patrick’s Day.
Photo//Getty Images

But why do we always see four-leaf clovers? That’s due to the odds of finding a four-leaf clover being 1 in 10,000 – color me Irish. Legend says that the four-leaf clover has its own meaning: hope, faith, love and luck. 

Did you know that 34.7 million in the US have an Irish heritage, which is seven times more than the population of Ireland. The first St.Patrick Day in the United States was held in New York in the 1760s. In 1961, former President John F Kennedy wore a green tie when Ireland’s ambassador, Thomas Kiernan, showed up at the White House with a bowl of shamrocks. In 1962, the city of Chicago, colored its river green to commeratoe the holiday and it’s been a tradition ever since. In 2010, which marked the 200th anniversary of the holiday, was held in the Sydney Opera House by changing its color to green.

The Sydney Opera House in Australia illuminates green on St. Patrick’s Day.
Photo//Sydney Opera House

Even across America cities and states host their own St. Patrick’s Day parades. Interestingly enough, the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in the state of Arkansas, which ran a total of 98 feet, which is held annually on St. Patrick’s Day.