This last month was full of adventures. I have visited Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, Jensen Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens. On St Patrick’s Day, I had the opportunity to celebrate at Jacksonville Beach. It was my second time celebrating the holiday here in the US. Last year I could celebrate it in Tampa with some friends. But I realized I didn’t adequately explain the holiday then, so here we go.
For those who don’t know, St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th, an Irish holiday that America embraced due to the number of Irish descendants that built this nation.
According to my brief research, some cities with an expressive number of Irish immigrants, who often exert political power, staged the most extensive celebrations, which included elaborate parades. For instance, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held by Boston in 1737, followed by New York City in 1762. Since 1962 Chicago has colored its river green to mark the holiday.
Irish and non-Irish alike typically join the party in the “wearing of the green”—wearing a piece of cloth of green or a shamrock – the Irish national plant – in the lapel. In addition, some traditional dishes as corned beef or even cabbage, are identified as part of the holiday. Finally, the beer is sometimes dyed green to celebrate the day. Even though some of these practices were eventually adopted by the Irish themselves, the reason at the beginning was mainly for the benefit of tourists.
St. Patrick is well-known as the patron saint of Ireland. He was born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century, he was kidnapped at 16 and taken to Ireland as an enslaved person. He escaped but returned about 432 CE to convert the Irish to Christianity. By his death on March 17th, 461, he had established monasteries, churches, and schools. Many legends grew around him—for example, he drove the snakes out of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the Trinity. Ireland came to celebrate his day with religious services and feasts.
My personal experience
I could celebrate the holiday over Jacksonville beach. We were all trying to dress anything green and went to an Irish bar; we could enjoy some Celtic songs over there, which was nice. Unlikely last year, when the holiday ended up being on a weekend that we celebrated the entire day, this one was a Friday night, which was also excellent but shorter than the previous year. It’s a fun holiday anyway; I recommend everyone to join it!