Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the United States of America? It all started with a big move. In 1845, over 1 million Irish moved to America after the Great Hunger, which is also called The Irish Potato Famine. Basically a fungus spread rapidly throughout Ireland and this infestation ruined almost 50% of the potato crop for that year and about 75% of the potato crops over the next seven years. Even though we have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the United States of America since 1737, because in Boston some Irishmen gathered to celebrate it, it became something big after the Big Move caused by the Great Hunger in Ireland.
Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17. Due to a legend that went around, Irish and Irish Americans commemorate the death of Patrick, the saint of Ireland, who died on March 17 around the year 492. Today, the commemoration has shifted and now is a festive day that celebrates and honors Irish heritage and its rich culture and traditions. Cities all over America celebrate with parades and festivities. The biggest ones are held in Boston, NYC, and Chicago.
Also, in 1862, during the Civil War, the Irish Brigade was formed. For the first time, Americans saw the Irish as their own, these Irish American soldiers fought for the Union. The historian, Phillip Thomas Tucker, said, “These Celtic soldiers were fighting most of all for their own future and an America which did not segregate, persecute, and discriminate against the Irish people and their Catholicism, Irish culture, and distinctive Celtic heritage.” Irish American heritage has become an important part of American culture. Long time ago Irish men took this day as a holiday and their stores and pubs were closed, but in 1995 the government created a national campaign to use St. Patrick’s Day to attract tourism and showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world.
The first official New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade was in 1848. This is the oldest parade in America, can you believe it?. Every year over 3 million people fill the streets of New York to watch the floats go past in the river. Have you been to any of them? If you haven’t, we highly recommend you going this year. It is extremely fun and it is nice to celebrate culture every once in a while. If you have your move planned for that day, we advise you to choose another date if possible. We know that sometimes this kind of decision is out of our hands, but, if possible, you can move it forward and celebrate St. Patrick’s day from your new location. There is no better way to start a new life at a new location than celebrating culture and heritage in a festive way with your new community.
Now that we know all the history, we can start planning your move. Either you’re moving that same day or week, you have to know what is going around the city so you don’t get stuck in traffic caused by parades and other celebrations. Just like the Celtics, your move is important. Get ready and try not to move exactly on the 17th of March and if it is completely necessary, try organizing it as early as possible, letting know your movers that it is essential for you to do it efficiently and, mabe, plan in advance the route where you´ll drive through so you avoid roads that will be blocked by parades and other festivities.