In the 1960s, then President John F. Kennedy, the great-grandson of Irish immigrants, published a book entitled “A Nation of Immigrants,” making it clear that a key factor in America’s cultural determination is the foreigners who for centuries have made this country their home and as such have woven their customs and traditions into the “Land of the American Dream.
Since 1820, 5 million Irish immigrants arrived in the United States and they installed the color green and beer as symbols that today are known to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every March 17. But, this tradition keeps a history that is now a part of a tourist route in Ireland.
His original name was Maewyn Succat. This character was born around 400, it is said that his parents were Romans and that he later established a strong relationship with Ireland. He was kidnapped, became a Christian priest and then a Bishop. He worked for 30 years setting up schools and monasteries. He used the Shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity to atheists, which eventually became the symbol of a holiday.
By way of summary, we could say that St. Patrick was a Catholic missionary who today is the pattern saint of Ireland and who has gone down in history as the preacher who introduced Catholicism to the island and also to a good part of the United States. But how does this apostle relate to the drinking of beer? Well, it is believed that he taught the Irish to distill this brew, an instruction that would become the identity of a nation and that ended up traveling all the way to the United States.
HOW IS IT CELEBRATED IN THE UNITED STATES?
While everything is frozen because of the pandemic, one of the mythical images is the great parade held in New York City. The first version was in 1762, when 250 thousand Irishmen walked down Fifth Avenue, making clear the festive spirit of this date.
But, the most extravagant celebration lives in the city of Chicago, since 1961 a very striking tradition began which is to pour 45 kilos of green dye into the river. Isn’t that a lot of dye? Of course, in fact there are currently no more than 11. But the scene manages to captivate and is one of the postcards of St. Patrick’s Day. What encourages millions in the world to go to a bar and ask for a mug of beer in the name of a young man who made Ireland his reason for existing? Without a doubt, the desire to have a good time, to put a Clover on the lapel and to wear, in times of pandemic, a green mask to celebrate with the allowed capacity a date that contains a lot of history, dreams and faith.