St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated internationally every March 17th, is a religious Irish holiday created to commemorate Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Though the Irish and other European countries have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in different forms since the ninth century, it didn’t become an officially recognized holiday in Ireland until 1903.
Whether you’re in Dublin, Galway, New York, Boston, Chicago or any town in between we’ve all come to recognize the St. Patrick’s day parade as one of the most enjoyable parts of the Irish holiday. You may have even considered travel to Ireland during March specifically for the parade. Surprisingly, the first recorded St. Patrick’s day parade in history actually took place in New York City on March 17th, 1762. It was held by Irish soldiers who were serving in the British army. They marched to Irish music to help them reconnect with their Irish ancestry and fellow servicemen. Since then, the St. Patrick’s Day parade has become an annual tradition in many parts of the United States.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade didn’t make its way to Ireland until 1931 when the first parade was held in Dublin. Since then, it has turned into a five-day, activity-filled St. Patrick’s festival, consisting of food, music, theater, and even fireworks. Ireland may have gotten to the party a bit late, but they’ve made up for it by creating the biggest St. Patrick’s day parade, er, celebration, in the world.
St. Patrick’s day may not be quite as popular as Christmas or Thanksgiving, but it certainly isn’t lacking a rich history. It has been celebrated all over the world for hundreds of years and brings with it many fun traditions, such as wearing green, and, of course, drinking. It might not be the holiday you look forward to for half the year, but the month of March certainly wouldn’t be the same without St. Patrick’s day.
2018 Edition was no exception. Fifth Avenue was a sea of green Saturday as thousands gathered in Manhattan for what is still the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Marchers began traveling up the avenue from St. Patrick’s Cathedral about 11 a.m. for one of the nation’s oldest parades. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo led the parade, which includes no vehicles or floats. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio marched along with Police Commissioner James O’Neill and the NYPD Emerald Society.

Article and photos by Joseph Ralph Fraia

 

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