LUSH! - St Patrick’s Day
Green and Patriotic Features from the Pinup & Glamour Galleries
Contains some mature content
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint's religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century.
The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years.
Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people.
In the centuries following Patrick's death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture.
Since around the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick on March 17.
Interestingly, however, the first parade held to honour St. Patrick's Day took place not in Ireland but in the United States.
On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.
Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.
Over the next 35 years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called "Irish Aid" societies like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society.
Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums.
In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one official New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Today, that parade is the world 's oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants.
Each year, nearly 3 million people line the 1.5-mile parade route to watch the procession, which takes more than five hours.
Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Savannah also celebrate the day with parades involving between 10,000 and 20,000 participants each.
Today, people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick's Day, especially throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in many other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore and Russia.
In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick's Day was traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use interest in St. Patrick's Day to drive tourism and showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world.
Today, approximately 1 million people annually take part in Ireland 's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theatre productions and fireworks shows.
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