St. Patrick is probably best known in the United States as the person, according to legend, that drove the snakes out of Island. While that story is apocryphal, St. Patrick was a real person that preached Christianity to Celts in Ireland around 432. According to legend, St. Patrick used the three leaf shamrock to teach the Irish and, consequently, shamrocks are now prominent in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Green also has become symbolic of the festival as it represents Ireland as the “Emerald Isle.”
Modern Ireland has promoted the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day as a way to promote Irish culture, and to show that it is a national festival that ranks amongst the greatest celebrations in the world. St. Patrick’s Day also provides the opportunity for people of Irish descent and those that love the Irish people to celebrate and join in the imaginative and expressive celebration.
Within the US there are numerous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Most of them contain Irish Pride parades, and in Chicago they even dye the river green. New York City’s parade is the largest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world, and also one of the oldest. St. Patrick’s Day is now celebrated throughout the world, including nations that do not have significant numbers of Irish immigrants, such as Japan, Malaysia and South Korea. So come celebrate the wonderful Irish people today.