Baby Boomers Celebrate
St Patricks Day
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, on the anniversary of St. Patrick's death in the fifth century.
The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for more than a thousand years as well as many others from all over the world.
On St. Patrick's Day Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate the holiday in the afternoon when they would dance, drink and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage; which has today come to be corned beef and cabbage.
St. Patrick was born in Britain near the end of the fourth century and died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been said that he took on the role because of tax incentives. There is little evidence that proves Patrick came from a particularly religious family.
When he was sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They took him to Ireland where they held him captive. During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Turning to his religion for solace, Patrick became a devout Christian.
After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. It is said he heard the voice of God speaking to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.
Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After he escaped to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation; that he was told by an angel in a dream to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training that was to last more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.
St. Patrick's Day is often celebrated in modern times with a parade. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in the United States.
Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, in addition to fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.
Each year, nearly three million people line the 1.5-mile parade route in New York City to watch the procession,. The parade can last more than 5 hours. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Savannah also celebrate the day with parades involving anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 participants.