Thursday, March 17, 2011
St. Patrick's Day!
St. Patrick's Day has been a Religious Holiday ever since the ninth century. It was named after the Saint Patrick of the Patrons Saints of Ireland. Back then the color was Blue. They made the color Blue because of the color that the Patrons wore.
Then in the 17th century the color changed to Green. They changed the color because of the the clovers and the shamrocks.
This day is observed my many Religions. Some of them are the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox and the Lutherans. There are more but these are the ones that observed this day back then.
In the 17th Century this day became a Feast Day and a celebration for the Irish. This also became a public holiday in Ireland. They made St. Patrick's Day on March 17th so it didn't interfere with the Holy Week. Holy Week is Palm Sunday and Lent.
In 1903 St. Patrick's Day became an Official Public Holiday in Ireland. This was with the help of the bank act 1903 an act of the United Kingdom Parliament. This was introduced by Irish MP James O'Mara. He is the person that helped get this day for a holiday for the Irish culture.
The first parade was held in the Irish Free State of Dublin in 1931. They had to close the pubs and bars down because to many people were drinking and getting really out of hand. Starting fights in the middle of the streets and in the bars and pubs.
The first festival was held on March 17, 1996 this was a one day event. Then in 1997 it became a three day event and in 2000 it became a four day event. In 2000 there was more than 675,000 people at the festival. The festival included concerts, bands, the parade, theatre performances and fireworks.
The biggest celebration was held in Downpatrick, County Down. They had more than 2,000 participants and 82 floats, bands and performers. This was in 2004 and it was a week long festival.
In 2007 Vincent Twomey wrote this " It is time to reclaim St. Patrick's Day as a Church Festival." They are worried that this day has gotten way out of hand.
This is how the Holiday St. Patrick's Day had started many years ago.