Today is the day of the Festival of Patrick. A religious and cultural celebration held every March 17th. This National Day was being observed in Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries but it took until the 1600's for the Catholic Church to pick it up as a holiday. Due to Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding it became the the Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. It is known as a feast day in the Church of Ireland. The Catholic church calendar avoids the observance of saints' feasts during certain solemnities, making it a requirement to move Saints' days outside of Holy Week. In 1940 and 2008 St. Patrick's Day had to be moved because of this. I found this rather interesting.
St. Patrick's Day became a public Holiday in 1903 due to the Bank Holiday Act. Introduced by a member of the parliament James O'Mara. Due to much drinking and the drinking getting out of hand he also outlawed drinking in bars and pubs on Sunday and they were to be closed. That was repealed in 1970. The first St.Patrick's Day Parade was held in 1931 in Dublin, Ireland.
On March 17th, 1996 the first St. Patrick's Day Festival was held. It was a 3 day event in 1997, a 4 day event by 2000, 5 days long in 2006 and in 2009 by the end of the 5 day festivities there were almost 1 million in attendance to one part or another of events.
Somewhere, way back I am from Irish decent but by now I stand as everyone else with the notion "Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day"!
What are you doing for St. Patrick's Day? Are you wearing green? We're having corn beef and cabbage. Instead of the simple green top I bought on clearance at the end of last summer I will be wearing a green sweatshirt due to the 25 degrees here in snow covered N.Y. ~ HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY ~