Well, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, and what better day to wear green? Coming from a mostly Irish region of the country, anyone not wearing green looks like a freak. However, the holiday has been so Americanized that it is mostly celebrated as a “feast day”.

The holiday, as its name suggests, is named after Saint Patrick who lived around 400 AD, and is one of the most commonly recognized patron saints of Ireland. Believe it or not, the holiday was originally associated with the color blue, but over the years, Saint Patrick’s Day and green stuck together like glue. Green ribbons and shamrocks are often worn on this March 17th holiday as early as the 1600s! In the late 1700s, however, a few Irish soldiers made a political statement by wearing all green uniforms, and well, the tradition stuck.

The Chicago River on St Patricks Day

The holiday also started as a day off from the Christian season of Lent, thus alcohol comes into the picture. It was officially pronounced a “feast day” in the early 1600s and a holy day of obligation for the Roman Catholic Irish. Nowadays, this originally Catholic holiday is celebrated all throughout the Western world.

The biggest Saint Patrick’s Day parade is held right here in nearby New York City! More than 2 million spectators line the 1.5 miles of 5th Ave. The 5-hour-long parade features hundreds of thousands of marchers participating in it: what other way to boast about your city than saying it has one of the most popular St. Paddy’s Day parades in the world, let alone being in a heavily Irish area.

Does your family have any March 17th traditions? Do you head out to the pub or talk to the local leprechaun? Share your secrets below! Check out the NYC St. Patrick’s Day 2009 Parade video below also:

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