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A Day to Be Irish
The countdown begins every year on March 18, for the next St. Patrick's Day to hurry up and come again. People begin putting time in for vacation at their places of employment, students begin planning their spring break early, and moms and dads from all over begin looking for a sitter, or in some cases, a weekend stay with the grandparents.
Because St. Patrick's Day is a day to be Irish, a day to wear any shade of green, a day to tell old folk tales about Leprechauns and rainbows that lead to gold, and a day to follow Irish tradition. Whether Irish or not, everyone enjoys a day of the privilege to wear the colors orange, green, and white with pride.
Savannah is # 2, next to New York—being #1—in the nation when it comes to a beer drinking, street crowding, dance inducing, smile giving, green all day wearing, body painting kind of fun that everyone looks forward to yearly. People even travel to Savannah from as far as Ireland for the time of their life.
In 1813, Savannah had its very first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, years after General James Oglethorpe founded Savannah. A group of Hibernians—Irish Natives—organized a march in the streets of Savannah in order to show honor to the death of Saint Patrick of Ireland. One major reason St. Patrick's Day is so huge here in Savannah is because of the prosperous number of Irish immigrants who made their way here due to the potato famine and political persecution that went on in their beloved country of Ireland.
Also, thanks to St. Patrick, the three-leaf shamrock came into fame because of St. Patrick's use of the shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity; which is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, this gave the shamrocks such a huge association with St. Patrick's Day. The shamrock is a badge to be worn on the lapel on the Saint's feast day and it was used as an emblem by the Irish Volunteers in the era of Grattan's Parliament in the 1770's.
St. Patrick's Day is a day for remembrance, thanks, and celebration of a Saint that spread the word of God throughout Ireland as well as spreading good cheer to all, and a day of honor and integrity for the Irish blood that has found its way across the sea to red, white, and blue.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-A traditional Gaelic blessing
Erin Go Bragh!
A huge thank you to the Savannah St. Patrick's Day website, for the history behind St. Patrick, the Shamrock, and the traditional Gaelic blessing!
Written by: Amber Dyson
Reference to/from: savannahsaintpatricksday.com