Happy Saint Patrick's Day from the Drover Team!
It is absolutely humbling to us to think that last year at this time, Drover wasn't even started yet, and since then we have made some incredible progress. In the spirit of being thankful for progress and excitement for everyone being GREEN all day today, we wanted to wish all of our readers and the world a happy Saint Patrick's Day, and share the history of this holiday.
The History of Saint Patrick's Day
So, here we are, March 17, 2017 -- St. Patty's Day 2k17. Saint Patrick's Day is held on the 17th of March in remembrance of the death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385-461), the patron saint of Ireland. This day became an official Christian feast day in the early 1600's. Thus, Saint Patrick's day celebrates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity to Ireland, as well as Irish culture in general. As you probably already know, festivities include parades, festivals, and rad parties. As a humorous aside, historically, Lent restrictions on eating and consuming alcohol were lifted for St. Patty's day, which eventually leads to our familiar modern-day habit of drinking and merriment on the 17th.
Saint Patrick was a missionary in Ireland in 5th-century AD. After growing up serving in the church, it is believed that at the age of 16, he was kidnapped and brought into slavery in Ireland. He then spent several years working as a shepherd. It was during this incredibly difficult time in his life that he experienced God more closely than he ever had before. God told Patrick to flee to the coast of Ireland, where a boat would be waiting to return him home. After quite literally taking a leap of faith, Patrick escaped, found his way back home and entered the Priesthood. Later in his life, Patrick went back to Ireland to evangelize and share Christianity to the people of Ireland. He did much for Ireland, including sharing the Word with what is thought to be thousands of people. He also worked to bring down Ireland's oppressive aristocratic 'druid' class, which lead to the popular story of Saint Patrick driving out all of the "snakes" from Ireland. March 17th is commonly agreed as the date of his death, and since then, he has become Ireland's favorite saint.
Parties and Such
St. Patrick's Day started to get really huge in the United States when Irish immigrants came to the states in the 19th and early 20th century. Until recent years, St. Patrick's Day has often been even more heavily celebrated in the USA than in Ireland. Celebrations include festivals, parties, parades, etc. Drinking alcohol -- especially Irish whiskey, beer, and cider -- has become a core part of those festivities.
As you also know, people wear a TON of green on St. Patrick's Day. This originates from green as the representative color of Catholics in Ireland, whereas orange is commonly associated with Protestant Christians. Moreover, Saint Patrick is believed to have used the shamrock leaf -- which has three leaves -- to explain the Holy Trinity, God as one God in three persons: God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. In addition, in the holiday's early days, green was commonly associated with the restorative powers of nature. In the 1640's, green became associated with Ireland based on the coloration of their flag. In the 1790's, green became a symbol of Irish nationalism when the Irish revolted against British rule. So, given all of the rich history and association between Ireland and the color green, people have taken to wearing green on Saint Patrick's Day to celebrate Irish culture and the life of Saint Patrick.
St. Patty's Day in the USA
In the United States, St. Patrick's Day is not actually a legal holiday. Regardless, it is nearly universally recognized and observed throughout. Since the late 18th century when Saint Patrick's day was introduced by Irish immigrants to the US, the 17th of March has been a day filled with celebrations, prominent displays of the color green, parades, and hefty consumption of alcohol.
My personal favorite Saint Patrick's Day tradition/celebration in the United States takes place in Chicago. On St, Patrick's Day, the city pours 45 pounds of green vegetable dye color into the Chicago river. The coloring lasts for about five hours and is accompanied by about 400,000 spectators, a parade, and tons of festivities! I just think its amazing that they dye a river green LOL!!
Check out this time-lapse video of the river being dyed from TODAY -- SAINT PATRICK's DAY 2K17!!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day -- Be Safe, drink responsibly, and have a fantastic day with family and friends!
*** Also, remember that if you or friends are not good to drive home safely for various reasons, you can always hail an Uber or a Lyft (and one day a Drover!!) to get home safe and sound.
Patrizio Murdocca is Chief Web Architect at Drover Rideshare, a student at Vanderbilt University, and President of Interfaced Ministries.