Saturday, February 10, 2007
Come March 17 and out comes an Irishman - no all the Irishmen, and women, and children…by the thousands - to celebrate Just Being Irish ! On St. Patrick's Day, they'll parade all their traditions and colors, play their music and dance their jigs, they'll feast on traditional Irish food and drink, yes, they'll actually kick up their heels and have a blast and if you're not Irish…don't you worry…you can join in too!!! Yes, the St. Patrick's Day Parade would welcome you as an "honorary person" for the day - just get your green wig, wear a shamrock on your green lapel and get your green beer along, and we'll all be one big happy Irish Family !

March 17 is the anniversary of the death of one of Ireland's greatest heroes - St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and has been celebrated for thousands of years as a Catholic feast day and a religious holiday in Ireland, with Irish families attending a church service and then going home to celebrate with family and friends, since Lenten observances and prohibitions were relaxed on St. Patrick's Day.

At a typical St. Patrick's Day Parade, one thing will stand out - the color Green - not St. Patrick's Color (which incidentally is Blue!) but the national color of the Emerald Isle, symbolic of the coming of Spring. Everyone will proclaim themselves Irish for the March 17, there will be loads of Irish jokes going around, and you'll catch a lot of wannabe Irish speaking the lingo! Bagpipe music rules the air and the floats will take your breath away. Leprechauns will dance in and out of view and the well-dressed Irish lads and colleens will have you staring !

Everyone at the St. Patrick's Day Parade dresses in green (you be careful in school or you'll get pinched for not wearing green!). Put a bunch of shamrock in your hair or on your lapel or cap and get into the swing of the thing. You'll have to dance the Irish jig, drink green Beer, and probably have a go at dyeing your city's river green. Don't forget the St. Patrick's Day Parade throws - you'll be missing out on something real fun if you miss one o' those - (psst!) sneak in some Irish potatoes !

Typically, a St. Patrick's Day Parade will be led by one or more Grand Marshalls and a unit of soldiers 'escorting' it through the streets. Following them are the city's Irish societies, clan by clan, interspersed with decorated floats (well over a 100 in some cities) and marching bands. Every city's St. Patrick's Day Parade will have a theme, so they'll organize and decorate their floats accordingly. These themes could be anything from 'Unity' to 'Sports'. There could be Irish bands or bands playing Irish music on some floats and there'll definitely be the throwers with loads of cabbage !

The boisterous exuberance of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations we know today has only recently been introduced, and not in Ireland. It was in Boston in 1737 that the first public celebrations of St. Patrick's Day were seen - just bands of Irishmen following each other from one tavern to the next - to remind themselves that they were Irish and that they'd better be proud of it. One fine New York City day, on March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers of the English military took to the streets in a Parade, playing Irish music to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. It greatly reinforced their patriotism, and helped them connect with their roots, but more importantly increased their pride in themselves and in their homeland. It was also the beginning of yearly celebrations of St. Patrick's Day, and the New York City Parade, up 5th Avenue is the largest ever St. Patrick's Day Parade in the United States, and draws a million spectators each year.

The Irish numbers in America increased by almost a million when the "Potato Famine" of 1845-49 in Ireland drove them there to escape starvation. They soon became aware that their significant numbers carried political power. They started to organize and soon their 'green machine' was courted as an important 'swing vote', and being seen at a St. Patrick's Day Parade became the in thing for political wannabes.

In Ireland, Dublin hosts the St. Patrick's Day Parade and although St. Patrick's Day has always been a national holiday, festivities are now drawn out into a good week of celebrations. It is now called the St. Patrick's Day Festival and features outdoor music and dance performances, food and craft festivals, pageants, shows (from dog shows to car shows) and a display of fireworks and is Ireland's largest annual celebration.

So endearing are the traditions and festivities of St. Patrick's Day, that Parades are now taken out in such far off lands as Russia, Japan and Singapore !

It's St. Patrick's Day ! Go green, get jiggy and groove to the spirit of the day. Be it with a St. Patrick's Day feast or a parade, make sure your celebrations are top o' the morning ! Make this St. Patrick's Day a memorable one for your friends/ family/ dear ones as well. Just click on our Celebrations ecards and make this day shamrockin' special with your good wishes.

Send Free Online Saint Patricks Day Greeting Cards to your friends & loved ones. ALL cards are absolutely FREE !!!

A Parade O' Wishes...
Send your friends/ family/ dear ones a parade of wishes on St. Patrick's Day with this cute ecard.

Send this eCard !

Irish Cheer And Irish Jig !
Wish your friends/ family/ dear ones a grand St. Patrick's Day with this cheerful ecard.

Send this eCard !


posted by Gerry at Saturday, February 10, 2007 |