The History, Meaning, and Traditions of St. Patrick's Day: Part 1

The History, Meaning, and Traditions of St. Patrick's Day: Part 1

Posted by Hayley Adams on Mar 2nd 2023

Spring is on the horizon and with it, beautiful weather to fly your Eagle Mountain flags all season long. There is more to spring than just warmer weather though. St. Patrick’s Day is a long-standing holiday full of history, meaning, and traditions!

While SPD is celebrated in many countries around the world, many of us might not actually know the deep roots and history that come with it other than it’s an Irish holiday. Over the next couple of weeks, we will dive into the origins of SPD, the history of the widely known orange, green, and white flags, and how America has adopted this beloved holiday today.

The Origins of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, which is the anniversary of his death that dates back to the late 4th century. Saint Patrick, was a saint of Ireland but was born in Britain to a Roman Catholic family. At 16 years old, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland to work as a slave. Six years later, he managed to escape back to Britain but eventually returned to Ireland believing he had been called by God to Christianize Ireland and was ultimately credited with bringing Christianity to its people.

It is said that the most well-known legend of St. Patrick is that as he brought Christianity to the people of Ieralnd, he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.

The First St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

While people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick on March 17th since the 9th or 10th century, the first SPD parade did not take place in Ireland, but in America! Records show that the first SPD parade was held on March 17, 1601 in what is now St. Augustine, Florida.

More than a century later, Irish soldiers marched in New York City on March 17, 1772 to honor of the late St. Patrick. Since then, Enthusiasm for the SPD parades in New York City, Boston and other early American cities continued to expand and grow.

Part 2

Follow us into part 2 of our St. Patricks Day series to learn more about the history of the Irish Flag and how it became a staple in the holiday that we know and love today!