St. Patrick’s Day

Come on, admit it. You wear green on March 17. And you eat corned beef and cabbage. You claim to be Irish, if only for a day.

Next week brings the annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, so here is a quick review of the day and its namesake. Follow the links in this text to see the wide range of resources that eLibrary has to offer.

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eLibrary’s St. Patrick’s Day Research Topic page

The known story of St. Patrick, born Maewyn Succat, begins at age 16, when he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped back to Britain, where he became a priest and then returned to Ireland to convert the natives to Catholicism from paganism. Since Ireland has no snakes, legend grew that Patrick chased all the snakes into the sea. His clerical work in Ireland led to his becoming the patron saint of the island nation.

While Patrick was never formally canonized, his feast is observed as a religious holiday by numerous Christian denominations, including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church. The holiday, Green Chicago Riverwhich falls on March 17, is also observed as a secular celebration around the world, with notable celebrations, the playing of bagpipes and parades in New York City, Chicago and Boston. While Boston appears to have been the first U.S. city to mark the holiday, in 1737, there seems to be conflicting information about whether Boston or New York held the first parade. (Article 1, Article 2) Chicago is known for dyeing its river green.

The shamrock has become a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day due to the legend that Patrick used the three-leafed plant to teach about the Christian Holy Trinity of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock is the reason green has become associated with the holiday.

So, whether you plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by feasting on traditional Irish food or by making your yard fountain green, you can consult eLibrary to learn about this centuries-old holiday and much more. Our St. Patrick’s Day Research Topic page, like thousands of other RTs, can be found by typing an exact-match phrase in the eLibrary search box (note the drop-down list as you are typing) and by clicking the Browse Research Topics button below the Basic Search area.


Jim Zelli

Jim Zelli has been with ProQuest since 1989 and with eLibrary since 2004.

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