St. Patrick's Day is much celebrated, but few know what exactly they're stomping up and down the streets celebrating. Here's a history lesson: Back in the 4th Century in Roman Britain, there was a saint born on March 17 named Patrick. At age 16, Patrick was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to be a slave. After escaping his captors, he made his way back home. Years later, after becoming a bishop, he traveled back to Ireland to teach the Irish people about the Christian doctrine. Saint Patrick was held in high regard in the Irish Church, and his birthdate became an internationally celebrated holiday in his honor.
So now that you know what you're toasting to, let the green beer, four leaf clovers, and kegs and eggs begin. Here are our top seven places to celebrate St. Paddy's Day.
Home to the infamous Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Scranton surprisingly draws in close to 150,000 attendees for its St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The day starts with mass at St. Peter's Cathedral and is followed by one of the country's largest St. Patrick's Day parades, complete with bagpipes, floats, dancers, and musicians.
Philadelphia's first St. Patrick's Day parade was back in 1771, and is said to be one of the oldest on record. Today, more than 500,000 watch the parade and then continue the celebrations in the pubs of South Philly and Old Town.
Savannah is known throughout the South as the place to party for St. Patrick's Day. Local organizers dye every fountain in town and every beer they can find green; and 400,000 watch the three-hour parade that has been said to be one of the largest St. Paddy's Day parades in the United States.
Where else do they pour green vegetable dye into the river to celebrate one giant green parade? Get to the Loop area to watch as they pour the dye into the Chicago River at 10:45 a.m. and find a primo spot for the parade that starts at noon. This is a good option for families, but bring a snack, as the procession can last a few hours.
Looking for somewhere warm and exotic to celebrate Saint Patrick? Jet over to Australia, where all those with the luck of the Irish flock to the streets of Sydney to celebrate their Irish-Australian heritage.
Boston already shows its Irish pride with the Celtics, but for St. Patrick's Day its has many activities for those who want to celebrate their heritage ... or for those who just want to celebrate. For people who like history, take a tour of the Irish Heritage Trail that explores more than 300 years of the Irish history in Boston. The parade brings in 600,000 viewers and loops through South Boston filling the air with the sound of bagpipes. They also hold an Irish Film Festival, and you can find lots of celebrating at famous Irish pubs like The Black Rose and The Burren. Plus, Boston has more Irish pubs than any city besides those in Ireland, so who wouldn't want to celebrate here?
Ireland's capital of Dublin is without a doubt the top place to spend March 17. St. Patrick's Day in Dublin is like Mardi Gras in New Orleans; parties last for days, and the parade brings out Ireland's best marching bands and pageant companies. Also, don't miss the walking tours that lead you in the footsteps of Saint Patrick, past many ancient sites from history, including St. Patrick's Cathedral.
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