Saint Patrick's Day


Saint Patrick's Day

Infobox Holiday
holiday_name = Saint Patrick's Day
type = Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland and Eastern Orthodox
longtype = National, Ethnic, Christian, Festive

|



caption = The Chicago River is dyed green each year for the St. Patrick's Day celebration, shown here in 2008.
official_name =
nickname =
observedby =
*Irish people
* People of Irish ancestry
*Roman Catholics
*Anglicans
*Eastern Orthodox
*English-speaking countries
ends =
date = March 17
celebrations =
*Attending Mass
*Parades
*Wearing shamrocks
*Wearing green
*Drinking alcohol
observances =
relatedto =

Saint Patrick's Day ( _ga. Lá ’le Pádraig or "Lá Fhéile Pádraig"), colloquially "St. Paddy's Day" or "Paddy's Day", is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick ("circa" 385–461 AD), one of the patron saints of Ireland, and is generally celebrated on March 17.

The day is the national holiday of Ireland. It is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Montserrat, and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the rest of Canada, Great Britain, Australia, the United States and New Zealand, it is widely celebrated but is not an official holiday. [cite web|title="Federal Holidays Calendars from 1997 to 2010"|accessdate=17 March|accessyear=2008|url=http://www.opm.gov/Operating_Status_Schedules/fedhol/index.asp]

It became a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding [cite web|title="The Catholic Encyclopedia: Luke Wadding"|accessdate=15 February|accessyear=2007|url=http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15521d.htm] in the early part of the 17th century, and is a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. The date of the feast is occasionally, yet controversially, moved by church authorities when March 17 falls during Holy Week; this happened in 1940 when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on April 3 in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday, and happened again in 2008, having been observed on 15 March. [cite news|title=St. Patrick's Day, Catholic Church march to different drummers|url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-03-05-stpatrick_N.htm|publisher="USA Today"| accessdate=2008-03-11] March 17 will not fall during Holy Week again until 2160. [cite web |url=http://www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=194136 |title=No St. Pat's Day Mass allowed in Holy Week |accessdate=2008-03-13 |author=Nevans-Pederson, Mary |date=2008-03-13 |work= Dubuque Telegraph Herald |publisher= Woodward Communications, Inc. ]

Celebration overview

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by Irish people and increasingly by non-Irish people (usually in Australia and North America). Celebrations are generally themed around all things Irish and, by association, the colour green. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green or orange, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink (such as Guinness or Baileys Irish Cream) and attending parades.Primary and high schools also often dress up in green on st Patricks day

The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five-day festival; over 500,000 people attended the 2006 parade. The St. Patrick's Day parade was first held in Boston in 1761, organized by the Charitable Irish Society. New York City's celebration began on 18 March, 1762 when Irish soldiers in the British army marched through the city,Fact|date=February 2008 and the New York parade is the largest, typically drawing two million spectators and 150,000 marchers.Hajela, Deepti, Associated Press article, March 18, 2008, New York City dateline ("The parade typically draws 2 million spectators and 150,000 marchers [...] New York boasts the nation's largest parade [...] ")] The predominantly French-speaking Canadian city of Montreal, in the province of Québec has the longest continually running Saint Patrick's day parade in North America, since 1824;Cite web|url=http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/heritage.html|title=St. Patrick's Day Parades Roundup, 2005|accessdate=2008-03-03|publisher=The Wild Geese Today] The city's flag has the Irish emblem, the shamrock, in one of its corners. Ireland's cities all hold their own parades and festivals, including Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Derry, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford. Parades also take place in other Irish towns and villages.

Other large parades include those in Savannah, Georgia ( [http://www.savannahsaintpatricksday.com/ ] ), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ( [http://www.saintpatricksparade.org] ) New London, Wisconsin (which changes its name to New Dublin the week of St. Patrick's Day) ( [http://www.newdublin.com/] ), Dallas, Cleveland, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Jackson, Mississippi, Boston, Buffalo, Houston, Chicago, Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, [http://www.cincinnatisaintpatrickparade.netfirms.com/] Kansas City, Rolla, Missouri, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Pittsburgh, Denver, St. Paul, Sacramento, San Francisco, Scranton, , Butte, Bayonne, New Jersey, Detroit, Syracuse, Newport, Holyoke, MA, New Haven, CT, [http://www.stpatricksdayparade.org/] Toronto, Vancouver, and throughout much of the Western world. The parade held in Sydney, Australia, is recorded as being the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

As well as being a celebration of Irish culture, Saint Patrick's Day is a Christian festival celebrated in the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, and some other denominations. The day almost always falls in the season of Lent. Some bishops will grant an indult, or release, from the Friday no-meat observance when St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday; this is sometimes colloquially known as a "corned-beef indult". [ [http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2006/03/indult-scorecard-master-list.html Whispers in the Loggia - Indult Scorecard, Master List] March 14, 2006] When 17 March falls on a Sunday, church calendars (though rarely secular ones) move Saint Patrick's Day to the following Monday—and when the 17th falls during Holy Week (very rarely), the observance will be moved to the next available date or, exceptionally, before holy week. [ [http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2007/07/st-pats-advanced.html Whispers In The Loggia - St Pat's, Advanced] July 24, 2007] The public holiday in Ireland does not move and always remains at 17 March, being fixed on the State calendar.

In many parts of North America, Britain, and Australia, expatriate Irish and ever-growing crowds of people with no Irish connections but who may proclaim themselves "Irish for a day" also celebrate St. Patrick's Day, usually with the consumption of traditionally Irish alcoholic beverages (beer and stout, such as Murphy's, Beamish, Smithwicks, Harp, or Guinness; Irish whiskey; Irish coffee; or Baileys Irish Cream) and by wearing green-coloured clothing.

2007 marked the first annual St. Patrick's Day parade and festival in the Scottish city of Glasgow.Fact|date=July 2007

Wearing of green

St. Patrick's Blue, not green, was the colour long-associated with St. Patrick. Green, the colour most widely associated with Ireland, with Irish people, and with St. Patrick's Day in modern times, may have gained its prominence through the phrase "the wearing of the green" meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing. At many times in Irish history, to do so was seen as a sign of Irish nationalism or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. The wearing of and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the saint's holiday. [ [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/03/0312_040312_stpatrick_2.html] "St. Patrick's Day: Fact vs. Fiction" (Bridget Haggerty, author of "The Traditional Irish Wedding" and the Web site "Irish Culture and Customs", speaks to National Geographic News)] The change to Ireland's association with green rather than blue probably began around the 1750s. [ [http://www.csulb.edu/~d49er/spring00/news/v7n91-holiday.html] Holiday has history] [cite web|url=http://www.ottawaplus.ca/feature/st_patrick/103/history_lore.jsp |title=The History of St. Patrick's Day |accessdate=2007-03-16|publisher='Ottawa Plus" ]

Recent history

In the past, Saint Patrick's Day was celebrated only as a religious holiday. It became a public holiday in 1903, by the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act 1903, an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by the Irish MP James O'Mara. [http://humphrysfamilytree.com/OMeara/james.html Humphry's Family Tree - James O'Mara] ] O'Mara later introduced the law which required that pubs be closed on 17 March, a provision which was repealed only in the 1970s. The first St. Patrick's Day parade held in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931 and was reviewed by the then Minister of Defence Desmond Fitzgerald. Although secular celebrations now exist, the holiday remains a religious observance in Ireland, for both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic Church.

It was only in the mid-1990s that the Irish government began a campaign to use Saint Patrick's Day to showcase Ireland and its culture. [http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/stpatricksday/?page=history "The History of the Holiday." History Channel.] (URL accessed March 15, 2006)] The government set up a group called St. Patrick's Festival, with the aim to::"—Offer a national festival that ranks amongst all of the greatest celebrations in the world and promote excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity, grassroots involvement, and marketing activity.":"—Provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent, (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations.":"—Project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal, as we approach the new millennium." cite web |url=http://www.stpatricksday.ie/cms/history_stpatricksday.html|title=St. Patrick's Day |accessdate=2007-07-21|work=St. Patrick's Festival]

The first Saint Patrick's Festival was held on 17 March 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event, and by 2000 it was a four-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long.

The topic of the 2004 St. Patrick's Symposium was "Talking Irish," during which the nature of Irish identity, economic success, and the future were discussed. Since 1996, there has been a greater emphasis on celebrating and projecting a fluid and inclusive notion of "Irishness" rather than an identity based around traditional religious or ethnic allegiance. The week around Saint Patrick's Day usually involves Irish speakers using more Irish during "seachtain na Gaeilge" ("Irish Week").

The biggest celebrations on the island of Ireland outside Dublin are in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, where Saint Patrick is rumoured to be buried following his death on 17 March 461. In 2004, according to Down District Council, the week-long St. Patrick's Festival had over 2,000 participants and 82 floats, bands, and performers, and was watched by over 30,000 people.Fact|date=February 2007

Belfast City Council recently agreed to give public funds to its parade for the very first time.Fact|date=February 2007 In previous years funding was refused by pro-British Unionist councillors in the city for not being inclusive of Unionist citizens, the refusal to fund it was labelled as "anti-Irish racism" by Nationalist Belfast councillors. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/591507.stm BBC News | NORTHERN IRELAND | St Patrick's day parade refused funding ] ]

Since the 1990s, Irish Taoisigh have sometimes attended special functions either on Saint Patrick's Day or a day or two earlier, in the White House, where they present a shamrock to the President of the United States. A similar presentation is made to the Speaker of the House. Originally only representatives of the Republic of Ireland attended, but since the mid-1990s all major Political parties in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are invited, with the attendance including the representatives of the Irish government, the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Féin and others. No Northern Irish parties were invited for these functions in 2005. In recent years, it is common for the entire Irish government to be abroad representing the country in various parts of the world. In 2003, the President of Ireland celebrated the holiday in Sydney, the Taoiseach was in Washington, while other Irish government members attended ceremonies in New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Buffalo, San Jose, Savannah, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Diego, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, Korea, Japan, and Brazil.

Saint Patrick's Day parades in Ireland date from the early 18th century.Fact|date=August 2008.

Christian leaders in Ireland have expressed concern about the secularisation of St Patrick's Day. Writing in the Word magazine (March 2007), Fr. Vincent Twomey stated that, "it is time to reclaim St Patrick's Day as a church festival". He questioned the need for "mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry" and concluded that, "it is time to bring the piety and the fun together". The widespread use of alcoholic beverages on St. Patrick's Day may be rooted in the fact that the Roman festival of the Bacchanalia, a celebration of the deity Bacchus (to whom wine was sacred), was on 17 MarchFact|date=March 2008.

Outside Ireland

In Argentina

In Argentina, and especially in Buenos Aires, all-night long parties are celebrated in designated streets, since the weather is comfortably warm in March. People dance and drink only beer throughout the night, until seven or eight in the morning, and although the tradition of mocking those who do not does not exist, most people would wear something green. In Buenos Aires, the party is held in downtown street Reconquista, where there are several Irish pubs; [cite web|url=http://sanpatricio.pais-global.com.ar/index.php/1118|title=Saint Patrick´s Day in Argentina] [cite web|url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df8ATMkkqWE|title=video of Saint Patrick´s Day in Argentina-youtube] in 2006, there were 50,000 people in this street and the pubs nearby. [cite web|url=http://www.clarin.com/diario/2006/03/18/laciudad/h-06401.htm|title=Clarín newspaper] Curiously enough, the street is named that way ("Reconquest") remembering the takeover of the city after it had been invaded by the British in 1806, [cite web|url=http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/richard_gott/2007/07/bad_day_for_the_empire.html|title=The Guardian] and much of the popularity of the day is due to the Argentine animosity against Great Britain (and thus, sympathy towards the Irish). Neither the Catholic Church nor the Irish community, the fifth largest in the world outside Ireland, [cite web|url=http://www.ireland.com/ancestor/magazine/articles/uhf_argentina1.htm|title= "The Irish Times" special report] take part in the organization of the parties.

In Canada

The longest-running Saint Patrick's Day parade in Canada occurs each year in Montreal, Quebec. The parades have been held in continuity since 1824; however, St. Patrick's Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France. [cite web|title=Montreal's Saint Patrick's Day Parade: History|author=Don Pidgeon|publisher=United Irish Societies of Montreal|date=2007-07-03|url=http://www.bar-resto.com/uis/history.htm]

In Canada, Saint Patrick's Day is an official holiday only in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Some groups, notably Guinness, have lobbied to make Saint Patrick's Day a federal (national) holiday.

In the Province of Manitoba, the Irish Association of Manitoba runs an annual three day festival of music and culture based around St Patrick's Day.

In the City of Toronto from 1919 to 1927, the Toronto Maple Leafs were known as the Toronto St. Patricks, and wore green jerseys. In 1999 when the Leafs played on "Hockey Night in Canada" (national broadcast of the NHL) on St. Patrick's Day, the Leafs wore the green St. Pats retro jersey.

Although the baseball season is still in the spring training phase when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, the Toronto Blue Jays wear green uniforms for the occasion.

In Great Britain

In Great Britain, the Queen Mother used to present bowls of shamrock flown over from Ireland to members of the Irish Guards, a regiment in the British Army consisting primarily of soldiers from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In 2002, London mayor Ken Livingstone organised an annual Saint Patrick's Day parade which takes place on weekends around the 17th, usually in Trafalgar Square. In 2008 the water in the Trafalgar Square fountains was dyed green.

The horse racing at the Cheltenham Festival attracts large numbers of Irish people, both residents of Britain and many who travel from Ireland, and usually coincides with Saint Patrick's Day. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1998/03/98/stpatrick/64867.stm BBC News - The day the world turns green] March 14, 1998]

The largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in Britain is held in Birmingham [ [http://www.search.connectinghistories.org.uk/engine/resource/exhibition/standard/default.asp?txtKeywords=parade&lstContext=&lstResourceType=&lstExhibitionType=&chkPurchaseVisible=&txtDateFrom=&txtDateTo=&originator=%2Fengine%2Fsearch%2Fdefault%5Fhndlr%2Easp&page=&records=&direction=&pointer=24&text=0&resource=503 Connecting Histories - St Patrick's Day Parade] ] over a two mile (3 km) route through the city centre. The organisers describe it as the third biggest parade in the world after Dublin and New York.Fact|date=March 2008 Other Saint Patrick's Day parades take place around the country including in London where the largest minority community is IrishFact|date=March 2008. The Scottish town of Coatbridge, where the majority of the town's population are of Irish descentFact|date=March 2008, also has a day of celebration and parades in the town centre.

Manchester hosts a two week Irish festival in the weeks prior to St Patrick's Day, the city claims the largest Irish population in Great Britain outside of LondonFact|date=March 2008. The festival includes an Irish Market based at the city's town hall which flies the Irish tricolour opposite the Union Flag, a large parade (claiming to be the biggest outside of Dublin and New York based on entrant and float numbers) as well as a large number of cultural and learning events throughout the two-week period. The festival promotes itself as the largest in the UK. [ [http://www.manchesteririshfestival.co.uk/ Manchester Irish Festival] ]

In Denmark

The St. Patrick's Day 3 Legged Charity Race started in Copenhagen in 2001. The race is organized by the Irish expat community and is sponsored by the Carlsberg brewery and the Irish pub owners of Copenhagen. In 2007, the event raised 26,000 DKK (~3,500 euro). All proceeds were donated to a Danish charity for children with cancer. All proceeds from the 2008 race will be donated to the Neonatal Department at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen.

In Germany

Munich is a German city that holds a St. Patrick's Day parade due to the considerably large Irish community. The parade is organized by the German-Irish Society of Bavaria and has been held every year since 1996. Meanwhile it has evolved into the largest St.Patrick's Day parade in continental Europe and features not only Irish/Scots/English, but also German clubs and societies, with an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 participants and spectators in 2007. [cite web|url=http://www.ganz-muenchen.de/freizeitfitness/st_patricksday/parade.html |title=Die St. Patricks Day Parade 2008 |accessdate=2008-02-23|publisher='ganz-muenchen.de'] Following the 2 km parade, which usually takes place the Sunday preceding 17 March, is an open air party with live music and dance performances. Subject to its recent growth, the D.I.F. Bayern e.V. ("Deutsch-Irischer Freundeskreis" - German-Irish Circle of Friends) now claims that it organises the second largest parade in the whole of Europe. [cite web|url=http://www.dif-bayern.de/index.html |title=DIF Bayern |accessdate=2008-02-23|publisher='D.I.F. Bayern e.V.'] Patron of the parade is Munich's mayor Christian Ude and the celebration is attended by the ambassador and the honorary consul of the Republic of Ireland. [cite web|url=http://www.stpatricksday.de/messages_en.html |title=St. Patrick's Day Munich - Messages of Greeting |accessdate=2008-02-23|publisher='D.I.F. Bayern e.V.']

In Japan

Since 1992, the [http://www.inj.or.jp/index_e.html Irish Network Japan] has hosted a St. Patrick's Day parade held on fashionable Omotesando Avenue in Tokyo, as a way of introducing Ireland and Irish culture to the Japanese. As of 2008, there are now ten cities across Japan that hold an annual parade: Ise, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Matsue, [Nagoya] , Okinawa, Sendai, Tokyo, Tsukuba, Yokohama.

In Korea

The Irish Association of Korea has hosted Saint Patrick's Day celebrations since 2000 with more than 6000 people attending each year.cite web|url=http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/2008/03/177_20541.html |title=Citizens Can Enjoy St. Patrick's Day |accessdate=2008-03-18|publisher='The Korea Times'] The eighth annual St. Patrick's Day festival celebrated 25 years of friendship and diplomatic relations with Ireland and Korea along the Cheonggyecheon river.

In Mexico

On this day, and on 12 September, the Saint Patrick's Battalion (Batallón de San Patricio) is memorialized. It fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of daterange|1846|1848, and was composed of several hundred Irish, Germans, Swiss, Scots and other Roman Catholics of European descent.

In Montserrat

The tiny island of Montserrat, known as "Emerald Island of the Caribbean" due to its foundation by Irish refugees from Saint Kitts and Nevis, is the only place in the world apart from Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador in which St Patrick's Day is a public holiday. The holiday commemorates a failed slave uprising that occurred on 17 March 1798.

In Russia

On March 15 1992, thousands of Muscovites lined the Novy Arbat to witness the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in the Russian capital's history. Yuri Luzhkov — now the current Mayor of Moscow - and Aer Rianta Chief Executive Derek Keogh were on the reviewing stand as a police escort led the way for Russian marching bands, Cossack horsemen, and fifteen floats representing many Russian companies. The parade, which was the brainchild of Derek Keogh, was a big success, and ensured a repeat performance the following year.

Each year the floats have become more numerous and sophisticated and the range of international and Russian participants and sponsors more wide-ranging such as Pepsi and Guinness. The local Irish bars of Moscow contribute their own floats.

The Moscow parade continued to be an annual event until 1998. The economic collapse of August 1998 meant that the 1999 parade was cancelled. In 2000, the St Patrick's Society of Russia managed to re-establish the St Patrick's Day parade with the co-operation of the Moscow city government, the Moscow police, various government bodies, the Irish embassy and the Irish community in Moscow.

In the United States

Irish colonists brought Saint Patrick's Day to what is now the United States of America. The first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in the 13 colonies took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737.Johnson, Bridget (17 March, 2006). 17 March, 2007 [http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/johnson200603170812.asp "Lucky for the Irish"] . "National Review Online".] During this first celebration The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organized what was the first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies on 17 March 1737. [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_681500369/Saint_Patrick%E2%80%99s_Day.html "Saint Patrick’s Day". Encarta] (URL accessed 19 March, 2007)] The first celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756, [http://www.brainyhistory.com/events/1756/march_17_1756_41850.html "March 17, 1756 in History." Brainy History.] (URL accessed 17 March, 2006)] and New York's first Saint Patrick's Day Parade was held on 17 March 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British Army. In 1780, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March. This event became known as The St. Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780. [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_681500369/Saint_Patrick%E2%80%99s_Day.html "Saint Patrick’s Day". Encarta] (URL accessed 17 March, 2006)] Today, Saint Patrick's Day is widely celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike.

Americans celebrate the holiday by wearing green clothing. Many people, regardless of ethnic background, wear green-coloured clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched, though this practice is in fact alien to those who actually come from Ireland. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A273700 BBC - h2g2 - St Patrick's Day ] ]

Some cities paint the traffic stripe of their parade routes green. Chicago dyes its river green and has done so since 1961 when sewer workers used green dye to check for sewer discharges and got the idea to turn the river green for St. Patrick's Day. [ [http://travel.msn.com//Guides/MSNTravelSlideShow.aspx?cp-documentid=468168&imageindex=2 MSN - View of Celebrations of St. Patricks Day in the U.S.] ] Indianapolis also dyes its main canal green. Savannah dyes its downtown city fountains green. University of Missouri Rolla - St Pat's Board Alumni paint 12 city blocks kelly green with mops before the annual parade.Fact|date=March 2008

Many parades are held to celebrate the holiday including the cities listed below:The longest-running Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in the U.S. are:
*Boston, Massachusetts, since 1737
*New York City, since 1762 (247th Consecutive Parade in 2008)
*Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 1771
*Morristown, New Jersey, since 1780
*New Orleans, Louisiana, since 1809
*Buffalo, New York, since 1811
*Savannah, Georgia, since 1813
*Carbondale, Pennsylvania, since 1833
*Milwaukee, Wisconsin, since 1843
*Chicago, Illinois, since 1843
*New Haven, Connecticut, since 1845
*Saint Paul, Minnesota, since 1851 [cite book |author=Kunz, Virginia Brainard |title=Saint Paul: The First One Hundred and Fifty Years |publisher=Bookmen |location= |year= |pages=p.33 |isbn=0-9630690-0-4 |oclc= |doi=]
*San Francisco, California, since 1852
*Scranton, Pennsylvania, since 1862
*Cleveland, Ohio, since 1867
*Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, since 1869 [http://www.pittsburghirish.org/parade/History/History.htm "History of Pittsburgh's St. Patrick's Day Parade."] (URL accessed October 5, 2006)]
*Kansas City, Missouri, since 1873
*Butte, Montana, since 1882
*Rolla, Missouri, since 1908
*Baltimore, since 1956
*Denver, Colorado, since 1962
*Las Vegas, Nevada since 1966
Savannah, GA, boasts the unofficial largest attendance with 750,000 in 2006.Fact|date=March 2008 Unlike other cities, the parade in Savannah takes place on the actual day of Saint Patrick's Day; even if that day is during the work week. However for 2008, the parade took place on Friday, 14 March, to honour Holy week in the Catholic faith. [ [http://www.savannahsaintpatricksday.com Savannah, Georgia - Saint Patrick's Day Celebration] ] In 2006, the Tánaiste was featured in the parade. Since the parade travels through Savannah's Historic Park District, one tradition that has developed has been the official "dyeing of the fountains" which happens several days before the parade. It has also become tradition for women spectators to kiss the Armed Forces Units and other military organization's male members. Savannah does not have an open container law so there is a proliferation of alcohol on River Street, Bay Street and in City Market.

;New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana, the parades include the influence of New Orleans Mardi Gras, with float riders throwing spectators strings of beads, cabbages, and potatoes.

;Hot Springs, ArkansasPerhaps the smallest notable parade [http://www.hotsprings.org/festivals_events/stpat_parade.asp World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade] , is said to take place in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the United States annually held on historic Bridge Street which became famous in the 1940s when Ripley’s Believe It or Not designated it “The Shortest Street in the World.” Boulder, Colorado claims to have the shortest parade, which is also less than a single city block.Fact|date=February 2007

;Syracuse, New York area and an active community leader. "The parade remains a major annual event, typically drawing an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 visitors to downtown Syracuse, as well as 5,000 to 6,000 marchers." [cite web|title="Nancy Duffy"|accessdate=17 June|accessyear=2008|url=http://www.tvjobs.com/cgi-bin/broadcast_obituaries.cgi?which=106]

;New York CityThe New York parade has become the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in the world. In a typical year, 150,000 marchers participate in it, including bands, firefighters, military and police groups, county associations, emigrant societies, and social and cultural clubs, and 2 million spectators line the streets. The parade marches up 5th Avenue in Manhattan and is always led by the U.S. 69th Infantry Regiment. New York politicians - or those running for office - are always found prominently marching in the parade. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch once proclaimed himself "Ed O'Koch" for the day, and he continues to don an Irish sweater and march every year up until 2003, even though he is no longer in office.

The parade is organized and run by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.Fact|date=February 2007 For many years, the St. Patrick's Day Parade was the primary public function of the organization. On occasion the order has appointed controversial Irish republican figures (some of whom were barred from the U.S.) to be its Grand Marshal.Fact|date=February 2007

The New York parade is moved to the previous Saturday (16 March) in years where 17 March is a Sunday. The event also has been moved on the rare occasions when, due to Easter falling on a very early date, 17 March would land in Holy Week. This same scenario is scheduled to arise again in 2008, when Easter will also fall on 23 March, but the festivities took place at their normal date and had record viewers. [ [http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/02/20/catholic.conflict.ap/index.html St. Patrick's Day causing Catholic dilemma - CNN.com ] ] In many other American cities (such as San Francisco), the parade is always held on the Sunday before 17 March, regardless of the liturgical calendar.

;Scranton, PennsylvaniaDue to the rich history of Scranton participation in St. Patrick's Day festivities it is one of the oldest and most populated parades in the United States. It has been going on annually since 1862 by the St. Patrick's Day Parade Association of Lackawanna County and the parade has gotten attention nationally as being one of the better St. Patrick's Day parades. The parade route begins on Wyoming Ave. and loops up to Penn Ave. and then Lackawanna Ave. before going back down over Jefferson Ave. to get to Washington Ave. Scranton hosts the third largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the United States. In 2008, up to 150,000 people attended the parade.

;Seattle, WashingtonDue to Seattle's northern state climates, like Ireland, the city received many Irish immigrants. So many that Seattle and Galway are sister cities. Every year on St. Patrick's Day, the Seattle Parade starts at 4th Avenue and Jefferson to the Reviewing Stand at Westlake Park, ending officially at the Seattle Center. The annual is enormous, including step dancing, food, historical and modern exhibitions, and Irish lessons. This is all celebrated on St. Patrick's Day and sometimes carries on until the 15, 16, and 17 March.

;Las Vegas, NevadaThe Southern Nevada, (formerly Las Vegas) Sons of Erin has put on a parade since 1966. It was formerly held on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, later moved to 4th street. Since 2005, the parade has been held in downtown Henderson. It is one of the biggest parades in the state of Nevada.It also consists of a three day festival, carnival and classic car show in Old Town Henderson.

;Baltimore, MarylandThe festivities of the St. Patrick's Day Parade (since 1956) include a 5K race with a finish line at Power Plant Live! and a brunch (both on the day of the parade) plus numerous fundraisers in Baltimore's Irish restaurants, leading up to the event.

;Rolla, Missouri

Rolla is home to the Missouri University of Science & Technology (formerly known as University of Missouri-Rolla, and Missouri School of Mines), an engineering college. St. Patrick is the patron saint of engineers, and the school and town's celebrations last for a week or more, with a downtown parade held the Saturday before St. Pat's. A royal court are crowned, and the streets of the city's downtown area are painted solid green. In 2008, Rolla celebrates its 100th St. Patrick's Day festival.

In previous years, a pit of green liquid was made by students as part of the festivities, and named 'Alice' -- stepping into Alice was a rite of bravery. In recent years, however, the university faculty has banned the practice out of health concerns. [cite web
last = Careaga | first = Andrew | title = Go ask Alice? We would if we could | work = UMR Magazine Vol. 81 No. 4 | publisher = mst.edu | date = Winter 2007 | url = http://magazine.mst.edu/2007/11/go_ask_alice_we_would_if_we_co.html
]

;BaseballAlthough the baseball season is still in the spring training phase when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, some teams celebrate by wearing St. Patrick's Day themed uniforms. The Cincinnati Reds were the first team to ever wear St. Patrick's Day hats in 1978. The Boston Red Sox were the second team to start wearing St. Patrick's Day hats in 1990. [ " [http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070316&content_id=1846147&vkey=spt2007news&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos The Official Site of The Boston Red Sox: News: Boston Red Sox News] " (URL accessed 29 March, 2007)] Many teams have since wearing St. Patrick's day themed jerseys, including the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1980s and Boston Red Sox in 2004. [ " [http://www.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20040315&content_id=650779&vkey=spt2004news&fext=.jsp&c_id=spt2004news The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News] " (URL accessed 29 March, 2007)] Since then it has become a tradition of many sports teams to also wear special uniforms to celebrate the holiday. The Los Angeles Dodgers also have a history with the Irish-American community. With the O'Malley family owning the team and now Frank McCourt, the Dodgers have had team celebrations or worn green jerseys on St. Patrick's Day. [ [http://dodgers.auction.mlb.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=88398501&prmenbr=51310409&aunbr=88745211 Dodgers Auctions - LA Dodger's St. Patrick's Day Jersey] ] The Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies also wear St. Patrick's Day caps and jerseys. [ [http://news.yahoo.com/photo/070317/483/343467b606fa449881b70c92839bd0cc "St. Patrick's Day on Yahoo! News Photos"] (URL accessed 29 March, 2007)] Other teams celebrate by wearing kelly green hats. These teams include: the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago White Sox, the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres, the Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, the Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals. [ [http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070317&content_id=1847212&vkey=spt2007news&fext=.jsp&c_id=stl "The Official Site of The St. Louis Cardinals: News: St. Louis Cardinals News"] (URL accessed 29 March, 2007)]

Nearly all major league baseball teams now produce St. Patrick's day merchandise, including Kelly green hats, jerseys, and t-shirts. [ [http://shop.mlb.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=st.%20patricks%20day&origkw=st.%20Patrick's%20Day&sr=1 "MLB.com shop"] (URL accessed 29 March, 2007)]

;Food
Corned beef and cabbage is the most common meal eaten in the United States for St. Patrick's DayFact|date=March 2008, even though historically, corned beef and cabbage is an American (rather than a traditionally Irish) meal.

In the United States, many people have also made the holiday a celebration of the colour green. These people, besides wearing green on that day, may also stage dinner parties featuring all green foods.

Uruguay

Despite its minuscule population of true Irishmen, the capital city of Montevideo is alive with St. Patrick's Day festivities. One bizarre tradition involves spinning a partygoer (eyes closed) around on the spot (# of spins = age of the person) while clapping the count and chanting "Dublin borracho!" (roughly translate as "dublin drunk", first as a whisper and then gradually increasing in volume, which makes for much vocal straining when spinning older partygoers). Once the count is complete, the partygoer must walk a minimum of 10 steps and plant a kiss on the cheek of someone from the opposite sex. This second task is rarely achieved.

ee also

*Saint Patrick
*Saint Patrick's Battalion ("Batallón de San Patricio")
*Irish calendar
*Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland
*UK national holidays
*Plastic Paddy
*Shamrock
*Shamrock Shake
*Irish Coffee
*Leprechaun
*Evacuation Day (Massachusetts), coincidentally on the same day as St. Patrick's Day
*March 17
*Irish Marching Society
*It's A Great Day for the Irish
*List of Irish-Americans
*Variations of green

External articles and references

;Citations and notes

;Books
*Todd, J. H. (1864). [http://books.google.com/books?vid=0xL-MLGB9faawn48LK-T8R&id=ubEk_dmI3Z8C St. Patrick, apostle of Ireland] ; a memoir of his life and mission, with an introductory dissertation on some early usages of the church in Ireland, and its historical position from the establishment of the English colony to the present day. Dublin: Hodges, Smith & Co.

;Websites
* [http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie Official St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, Ireland]
* [http://www.stpattys.com/st-patrick's-day-history.html Saint Patrick History]
* [http://www.saintpatricksparade.org Milwaukee, Wisconsin St. Patrick's Parade]
* [http://www.bar-resto.com/uis/ United Irish Societies of Montreal]
* [http://www.sebastiandooris.com/Gallerys/StPatricksDay2007/ Collection of images shot at the 2007 St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland]
* [http://www.stpatricksfestival.co.uk/ UK: website of the Birmingham St Patrick's Festival.]
* [http://www.syracusestpatricksparade.org/ Syracuse St. Patrick's Parade Web site]


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