St. Patrick’s Day is a special event in Ireland. There are festivals and parades everywhere celebrating Irish culture. The biggest parade is held in Dublin, of course. It is estimated that more than a million people take part in the St. Patrick’s parade in Dublin. Actually, it’s such a big occasion that the festivities get spread over several days–not just March 17.
But often, the smallest of all villages will also have their own parades and celebrations. Local musicians will almost always be playing in these parades, in addition to visual and performing arts. Millions are expected to don their greens and head for the parades on March 17th, finishing up the day with a visit to the pub for a pint of the best beer they can find.
The pubs and stores are all open on this day, though the post offices, banks, and other offices are closed. The Irish people have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for more than 1,000 years.
For the traditional Irish family, it would always start with a visit to the local church in the morning and celebrations in the afternoon. This is one reason why the pubs all over Ireland open a bit late in the day. The traditional families would also have a meal of cabbage and bacon.
The first parade was interestingly not held in Dublin or anywhere else in the country. It was held in New York City in 1762 when Irish soldiers from the British military marched through the city in order to reconnect with their Irish roots and unite all the Irishmen who were serving the British army. It was a hugely successful event, thus prompting the opening of “Irish Aid” societies such as the Hibernian Society and the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick. It eventually became a wonderful tradition, which is now followed all over Ireland and elsewhere too by the Irish people.